Local new car sales remain depressed in June, export sales improve
Monthly new vehicle sales figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) show that the decline continued into June 2019, although lower passenger car sales were offset by growth in some of the commercial vehicle segments.
The overall 45,939 new vehicle sales recorded in June reflect a decline of 724 units or 1.6% from the 46,663 vehicles sold in June 2018.
MOTORING PODCAST | Cargumentative: Gymkhana life & best advice
One of the worst affected segments was passenger cars, which registered 28,885 units last month, a decline of 942 cars, or a decrease of 3.2%, compared with the 29,827 new cars sold in June 2018.
New light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses were at 14,495 units, a gain of 1.2%.
The country’s best selling vehicle, the Toyota Hilux, achieved its highest recorded monthly sales total with 4,770 units, 35 more than the previous highest total of 4,335 recorded in 2011.
Medium trucks sold 834 units (up 16%) and heavy trucks 1,725 units (a 3.9% decrease).
The export business showed green shoots with 30,604 units sold beyond SA’s borders last month, a growth of 3,819 vehicles or 14.3% over June 2018.
Dealer sales at 80.4% made up the lion’s share of new vehicle sales while 12.5% went to the vehicle rental industry, 3.7% to the government and 3.4% to industry corporate fleets.
Year-to-date overall sales are now down 4.2% on 2018.
According to Naamsa, low business and consumer confidence, growing pressure on household disposable income and ongoing subdued economic circumstances continue to have a bearing on sales performance.
Nevertheless, despite an overall depression in sales figures the signs of improvement seen during the past month bodes well for an anticipated better second half of the year performance, it said.
“The market started the year 7.4% down in January, making June look relatively rosy, but it’s been a matter of how big the rest of the thorns were in-between,” said Ghana Msibi, WesBank executive head of motor.
“Year-on-year performance over the first six months has swung from the worst 7.4% decline in January to the best month being April with 0.7% growth. The passenger car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) sectors have been even more volatile. Passenger cars have spread from February’s 13.3% decline to April’s 3.9% growth, while LCVs fluctuated from being 13% down in May to being up as much as 7.1% in February. All seemingly without correlation to one another.
DEALER SALES AT 80.4% MADE UP THE LION’S SHARE OF NEW VEHICLE SALES
“The only trend that does continue is the financial pressure that consumers remain under,” says Msibi. “While motorists should expect some relief in petrol prices during July, households will bear increases in rates and electricity prices from this month."
The National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada), has called on the governor of the Reserve Bank to drop interest rates to help simulate vehicle sales.
“Drastic action needs to be taken by government in order to stimulate the retail sales market across all sectors of the economy,” said Nada chair Mark Dommisse.
“We live in a consumption-based society with consumer confidence a big driver. As consumers increase expenditure and confidence, the economy grows.”
Listed below are SA’s top-selling new vehicles in June 2019, with the record-breaking Hilux taking its perennial top spot in the charts and outselling its main rival, the Ford Ranger.
The VW Polo Vivo and new-generation Polo respectively remain the country’s two best selling passenger car ranges, with the budget Renault Kwid in third place.
Further down the ranks, once-popular sedans continue to fall out of favour as buyers turn increasingly to SUVs and crossovers for their elevated ride heights and perceived superior practicality. Toyota’s Fortuner is the most popular large SUV with the Ford EcoSport ruling the compact high-riding class.
Top 40 selling vehicles in June 2019
1 Toyota Hilux – 4,770
2 Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 2,571
3 Ford Ranger – 2,029
4 VW Polo – 1,887
5 Nissan NP200 – 1,709
6 Isuzu D-Max – 1,525
7 Toyota Fortuner – 1,410
8 Toyota Quantum – 1,345
9 Renault Kwid – 1,056
10 Ford EcoSport – 819
11 Toyota Corolla Quest - 745
12 Datsun Go – 723
13 Hyundai i20 – 670
14 Nissan NP300 – 667
15 Toyota Etios – 659
16 Toyota RAV4 - 653
17 VW Polo sedan – 590
18 Hyundai Grand i10 – 572
19 Renault Clio - 563
20 Suzuki Swift – 548
21 Toyota Avanza 466
22 Kia Picanto 462
23 VW Tiguan 401
24 Renault Sandero 376
25 Ford Figo 356
26 Mazda CX-3 332
27 Hyundai H100 Bakkie 321
28 VW Golf 312
29 Renault Duster 308
30 Mazda CX-5 301
31 Nissan Micra 293
32 Ford Everest 291
33 Nissan Qashqai 283
34 BMW 1-Series 281
35 Kia Rio 280
36 Suzuki Celerio 249
37 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up 241
38 BMW 3 Series 240
39 VW Amarok 225
40 Isuzu N-Series 225
• Figures exclude Mercedes-Benz and Haval, which do not report their detailed monthly sales figures