New-vehicle sales in South Africa saw slight growth last month as consumers pre-emptively bought to avoid the increase in value added tax, new vehicle emissions taxes and ad valorem duty changes announced in the budget.
The 49 233 cars, light commercial vehicles and trucks sold in March improved by 535 units or 1.1% compared to the same month last year.
The growth was mainly driven by passenger cars which were 3.7% up on March 2017, as bakkies and mini buses took a 2.3% tumble. Medium-sized trucks dropped 14.6% and heavy trucks were down 7.9% compared to the corresponding month last year.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) expects new-vehicle sales to grow by 3% overall in 2018.
It says medium term prospects for the economy had improved considerably on the back of the decision by Moody’s to retain South Africa’s international and domestic credit rating at investment grade, as well as the 0.25% reduction in official interest rate at the end of March, 2018.