Johannesburg – New vehicle sales in South Africa declined for the third year in a row in 2016 as above-average new car price inflation of around 14 percent on the back of a weak rand as well as low consumer confidence took its toll.
In total the industry managed to shift just 547 442 units in 2016, down 11.4 percent on 2015’s total of 617 648, according to Naamsa.
This was in spite of strong demand from the rental industry, which accounted for around 16.3 percent of new car sales.
Naamsa expects 2017 to be yet another difficult year for the local motor industry, but the association is hopeful that there will be a modest improvement in new vehicle sales during the second half of the year. This is on the back of expected GDP growth of around 1.5 percent for the South African economy, with private consumption expenditure growing from 0.8 percent to around two percent.
Yet while domestic sales were down in 2016, total exports rose from 2015’s 333 847 to a record 344 822 units and Naamsa believes that figure could grow by another 30 000 units in 2017, assuming the the global economy remains stable.
This, and increased local demand, are likely to see South African vehicle production rise by around six percent in 2017, to around 640 000 units, the association estimated.
But which were the most popular vehicles in 2016? Toyota’s Hilux, of which an all-new version was launched earlier in the year, topped the charts with sales of 35 428, and it was followed closely by the Ford Ranger, at 32 468. Watch this space for a more comprehensive sales list in the coming days.