PRETORIA – Total new vehicle sales and domestic production by South Africa's vehicle manufacturing industry has been revised significantly downwards by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

Despite these downward revisions, total average industry employment increased by 1.01percent or 305 jobs at end-September from the industry head count at end-June.

There was also a continued recovery in capacity utilisation in all vehicle manufacturing segments in the third quarter of this year, said Naamsa director Nico Vermeulen in the association's latest quarterly review of business conditions in the new vehicle manufacturing industry released on Friday.

The downward revision in sales and production for this year and in Naamsa's projections for next year and 2020 follow its downward adjustment in its GDP growth rate forecast for this year to 0.8percent from 1.5percent in June this year.

Naamsa has also revised downwards its GDP forecast for next year to 1.2 percent from 1.9 percent in June and to 1.8 percent from 2.5 percent for 2020.

Total new vehicle sales for this year are now expected to total 558000 units, 2.5percent lower than Naamsa's sales forecast of 572500 units in June.