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JOHANNESBURG - The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) said on Monday that underlying demand conditions for new vehicles in South Africa remain weak.

This as the new vehicle sales declined year-on-year by 724 units, or 1.6 percent, into June 2019. The aggregate domestic sales for June were at 45,939 units, from the 46,663 vehicles sold in June last year.

In terms of the new passenger cars, the market had registered a decline of 942 cars in June, or a fall of 3,2 percent to 28,885 units compared to the 29,827 new cars sold in June last year. 

The car rental industry's contribution accounted for a substantial 18.4 percent of new car sales in June 2019.  

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses at 14,495 units during June 2019 had recorded a modest increase of 173 units or a gain of 1.2 percent from the 14,322 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.

"In general, low business and consumer confidence, growing pressure on household disposable income and ongoing subdued economic circumstances continued to limit growth prospects," NAAMSA said.

"However, some vehicle segments showed signs of an improvement during the month and bodes well for an anticipated better second half of the year performance."

Following a surprising decline in May 2019, the June 2019 export sales number represented a substantial improvement with export sales at 30,604 vehicles reflecting an increase of 3,819 vehicles, or 14,3 percent, compared to the 26,785 vehicles exported in the same month last year. 

Vehicle exports for the year to date are now 29,459 vehicles or 19,3 percent higher than the corresponding period last year. 

"The upward momentum on the export side remains strong and industry vehicle production levels would continue to benefit from strong vehicle export sales," NAAMSA said. 

- African News Agency (ANA)