The November export sales number at 35 271 vehicles also reflected a marginal decline of 0.9 percent compared to the same month last year. Photo: AP

CAPE TOWN – November vehicle sales of 44 738 units in South Africa was a “disappointing” 5.8 percent decrease when compared with the same month last year, as the decline in local sales continued, a spokesperson for the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA said yesterday.

The November export sales number at 35 271 vehicles also reflected a marginal decline of 0.9 percent compared to the same month last year. 

But vehicle exports, at 374 215 units for the first eleven months of the year, had now already surpassed the previous annual record of 351 139 units exported in 2018, and there was one month still to go, although December was traditionally a quiet month for exports, the spokesperson said.

Year-to-date local vehicle sales of 494 996 units were 3.3 percent lower than the 512 207 vehicles that were sold year to date, for the corresponding period in 2018.

In November, 31 444 passenger cars were sold, a “welcome uptick” of 1.3 percent over car sales in November 2018, due mainly to strong support from the car rental industry.

In November, the vehicle rental industry accounted for a substantial 21.9 percent of new car sales.

Toyota was the biggest seller in November, with 9 324 sales, followed by Volkswagen Group with 8 317 sales, while Ford Motor Corporation was in third place with 4 764 sales.

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses declined by 22.1 percent in November to 10 679 units compared with the corresponding month last year.

Sales in the low volume medium and heavy truck segments also fell by 7.6 percent, and by 1.8 percent respectively, compared with the same month last year.

Naamsa said low economic growth environment and enduring pressure on household disposable income due to rising costs of living were not conducive to uplifting business and consumer confidence.

The car industry is responsible for 457 000 jobs across the South African economy.

BUSINESS REPORT