Motor trade in negative territory as vehicle sales continue to slide
JOHANNESBURG - SALES in the motor trade industry slipped into negative territory for the ninth month in a row in November, although the contraction was slower than anticipated.
Data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) yesterday showed that motor trade sales fell 4.3 percent in November, compared to the same month a year before, as demand fell on Covid-19 lockdown.
In October, sales eased 7.4 percent, but have since picked up from the largest contraction of 84 percent during the strictest lockdown measures in April.
StatsSA said the largest negative annual growth rates in November were recorded for fuel sales, which declined 17 percent.
This was followed by convenience store sales, which declined by 11 percent, and workshop income, which eased by 6.5 percent.
Demand has been at its lowest in the motor trade industry, as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions hampered social and business activities.
Despite improved new vehicle affordability due to low inflation and low interest rates, consumers are having less need for mobility on the back of protracted Covid-19 concerns.
StatsSA said that seasonally adjusted motor trade sales, however, picked up by 1.7 percent, following month-on-month changes of -2.1 percent in October and 2.7 percent in September.
In the three months ended November, seasonally adjusted motor trade sales rose by 7.5 percent compared with the previous three months.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA, said sales declined the lowest in two decades last year, falling by 29.1 percent from that of 2019.
In November domestic sales of new vehicles fell by 12 percent from a year before.