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Car sales drop amid strained economy

03 December 2019 - 09:35 By TimesLIVE
SA vehicle sales are dropping.
SA vehicle sales are dropping.
Image: 123RF/lanarusfoto

Economic uncertainty is keeping new vehicle buyers away.

The National Automobile Dealers’ Association's (Nada) national director, Gary McCraw, said despite business confidence showing small signs of improvement in the fourth quarter of this year, buyers of new vehicles were holding off making their purchasing decisions until economic uncertainty steadies.

He was commenting on the latest new vehicle sales information released by the National Automobile Association of SA (Naamsa).

The overall dealer sales channel for November 2019 saw 35,168 new vehicles (passenger and commercial vehicles) sold on dealer floors, a -4.6% decline in sales on dealer floors compared to the previous month.

Cumulative dealer sales year-on-year (November 2019 vs November 2018) saw 399,454 new vehicles sold on dealer floors to November 2019 (2018: 413,346), a -3.4% decline on dealer floors year-on-year.

“It is tough going in the market at the moment and we all still wait for the green shoots to appear.”

SA has about 1,600 new franchised automotive dealerships, comprising R48bn worth of investment. It employs 60,000 personnel directly and a further 25,000 indirectly, said Nada.

In May, Naamsa noted the consumers were increasingly choosing cheaper vehicles due to numerous fuel price increases, municipal rates increases, the Eskom tariff hike and elections.