Volkswagen’s recently-launched Polo was not subject to a price hike at the beginning of April, as was the case with various other vehicles from VW, Porsche, Peugeot and Haval.

Johannesburg - April was a month that South Africa’s motor industry was not looking forward to, with Treasury's 2018 Budget - announced in February - having imposed a taxation triple whammy on vehicles that came into effect on April 1.

In addition to the infamous one percent VAT hike that has affected everything we buy barring a few essentials like bread, the assault on car buyers also came in the form of a small hike in emissions taxes (R10 per gram of CO2 above 120g/km) and a five percent hike in the maximum ad valorem excise duty for imported vehicles - although the latter is only expected to affect more expensive cars costing upwards of R750 000.

Expectedly, these pre-increase price jitters were enough to get motorists into showrooms ahead of the expected hikes, with Naamsa having attributed the increase in vehicle sales in March (in spite of fewer selling days) to pre-emptive buying.

But how was SA vehicle pricing impacted in the end?

We compared March and April pricing data supplied by vehicle information specialist Duoporta, using a wide selection of cars from all ends of the market, and here’s what we found:

MARCH 2018 APRIL 2018 %
Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI auto R452 000 R456 000 0.9%
Audi RS5 Coupe quattro R1 285 500 R1 297 000 0.9%
BMW 320i R552 912 R557 812 0.9%
BMW X5 30d R1 108 404 R1 118 554 0.9%
BMW M760Li xDrive R2 801 836 R2 828 411 0.9%
Datsun Go 1.2 Lux R131 500 R132 900 1.1%
Fiat 500 0.9 TwinAir Pop R194 900 R196 900 1.0%
Ford EcoSport 1.0T Trend R283 900 R286 400 0.9%
Ford Ranger 3.2 DC 4x4 Wildtrak auto R624 900 R633 500 1.4%
Haval H2 1.5T Luxury R274 900 R274 900 0%
Honda Brio hatch 1.2 Comfort R174 800 R176 599 1.0%
Honda CR-V 2.0 Elegance R477 900 R482 800 1.0%
Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 Motion R149 900 R154 900 3.3%
Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Executive R299 900 R299 900 0%
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Premium R379 900 R384 900 1.3%
Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq DC X-Rider R404 200 R407 800 0.9%
Jaguar XE 2.0d Pure R569 500 R575 900 1.1%
Jaguar F-Pace 3.0d AWD Pure R921 646 R950 034 3.1%
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Limited R1 017 900 R1 026 900 0.9%
Kia Picanto 1.0 Start R137 995 R139 495 1.4%
Kia Rio hatch 1.2 EX R254 995 R257 495 1.0%
Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI AWD SXL R748 995 R755 495 0.9%
Range Rover Evoque SE TD4 R768 696 R792 471 3.1%
Land Rover Discovery HSE TD6 R1 249 618 R1 288 006 3.1%
Lexus RX 350 EX R916 600 R926 100 1.0%
Mahindra XUV500 2.2 CRDe W8 R364 995 R367 995 0.8%
Mazda2 1.5 Active R217 300 R219 500 1.0%
Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic auto R419 900 R424 000 1.0%
Mercedes-Benz C200 auto R576 842 R584 257 1.3%
Mercedes-Benz S560 L R2 047 524 R2 066 244 1.0%
Mercedes-Maybach S650 R3 229 266 R3 259 537 1.0%
Mini One hatch 3dr R299 500 R302 200 0.9%
Nissan Micra Active 1.2 Visia R159 900 R161 500 1.0%
Nissan X-Trail 1.6 dCi Visia R395 900 R400 500 1.2%
Opel Astra hatch 1.0T Enjoy R307 800 R310 500 0.9%
Peugeot 3008 1.6T Allure R459 900 R459 900 0%
Porsche Panamera R1 361 000 R1 361 000 0%
Porsche 911 GT3 R2 750 000 R2 750 000 0%
Renault Kwid 1.0 Dynamique R136 900 R137 900 0.7%
Renault Duster 1.5 dCi Dyn 4WD R309 900 R312 900 1.0%
Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GL+ R310 900 R313 900 1.0%
Toyota Etios hatch 1.5 Sprint R174 300 R176 300 1.1%
Toyota Corolla Quest 1.6 R212 700 R215 200 1.2%
Toyota Hilux 2.8 DC 4x4 Raider auto R595 700 R601 600 1.0%
Toyota Land Cruiser 200 4.5 D V8 VX-R R1 345 000 R1 372 800 2.1%
Polo Vivo hatch 1.4 Trendline R179 900 R179 900 0%
VW Polo hatch 1.0 TSI Comfortline R264 700 R264 700 0%
VW Golf GTI R548 600 R548 600 0%
VW Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI DC Extreme  R784 400 R791 300 0.9%

Despite this being a month when carmakers usually impose quarterly price increases, April’s price hikes were moderate across the board, with some manufacturers even having absorbed the VAT increase.

Pricing for most of Volkswagen’s range, for instance, remains the same as in March, and the same goes for Peugeot, Porsche and Haval.

The steepest increases took place within the Jaguar Land Rover stable, and even these amounted to just 3.1 percent. Most manufacturers hiked prices by around 1 percent, as per the VAT increase.

It’s worth bearing in mind however, the the ad valorem rates only apply to cars that dock in SA ports from April 1, thus it won’t yet affect cars currently sitting in showrooms.

Another factor to consider is current rand strength, which car manufacturers could factor into their sums to offset all those aforementioned tax hikes because let’s face it, although growth is predicted, the vehicle market is still in a depressed state and the car companies need to move metal.

Extravagant price increases is the last thing this industry can afford right now, and that - for you, the consumer - is certainly a good thing.

See the latest new vehicle prices & specs here

IOL Motoring