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Despite all the negative economic sentiment, South African vehicle sales continue to boom and June was a particularly strong month with Naamsa's latest figures revealing a 15.6 percent improvement over the same month last year.
Export sales, meanwhile, registered modest growth, rising by 1767 units or seven percent.
Passenger car sales during the month remained relatively strong, assisted by new model introductions, at 35 918 units. This was an improvement of 4480 units or 14.3 percent compared to the 31 438 units sold in June last year.
"The daily selling rate during June, 2012 remains at five year high levels," Naamsa said.
Sales of light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses saw strong growth, reaching 13 421 units, with (non-reporting) MBSA sales estimates included. This was a 22.1 percent increase, or 2425 units, on the 10 996 LCVs sold last June.
"Despite indications of further slowing in the domestic economy, new vehicle sales continue to perform remarkably well," said Naamsa.
Historically low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability, improving demand for credit by both households and businesses should continue to support the domestic market.
In addition, consumers were engaging in pre-emptive buying in response to the weaker exchange rate in recent months. The highly competitive trading environment and ongoing new model introductions would also support demand.
On the vehicle sales front, the Toyota Hilux was the best selling vehicle overall (3067 units), while the VW Polo Vivo took top honours in the passenger car sector with 2633 units. Look out for our list of June's top 50 sellers tomorrow. -IOL & Sapa