General decline in new vehicle sales in 2020

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published Feb 4, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Vehicle sales started the year on a weak note, with the new vehicle market continuing to show a decline in January as sales fell 8.1percent year-on-year, hit by weak demand. 

Data from the Department of Trade and Industry yesterday showed aggregate domestic sales at 39475 units, a decline of 3481 units, from the 42 956 vehicles sold in January last year. Export sales at 11373 units also fell by 6877 units, or 37.7percent, compared to 18250 vehicles exported in January last year. 

The January 2020 new passenger car market saw a decline of 5.1percent to 28116 units from 29616 new cars sold in the same period last year. Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses dipped 16.3percent to 9791 units from 11700 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year. 

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said sustained weak demand for domestic new vehicles continued in January on the back of depressed consumer and business confidence, weak economic growth, record-high unemployment and power utility Eskom’s electricity supply crisis. 

However, Naamsa said the momentum of vehicle exports over the course of the year should increase further. Naamsa said industry export sales for the year could reach about 390000 units compared to the record 387125 vehicles exported last year. 

In some reprieve for motorists, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has announced on Monday that motorists will be paying 13 cents per litre less for petrol and 5 c/l less for diesel from midnight on Tuesday.

In a statement released on Monday, Mantashe said the reason for the decrease in the fuel prices was due to lower global crude oil prices during the period under review. 

BUSINESS REPORT 

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