While the Hilux makes its mark in the Dakar Rally, the road-going version continues to dominate local sales charts.

Johannesburg - South Africa’s new vehicle market continued to sag in December, very much reflective of the year as a whole.

The year 2018 saw new vehicle sales decline by 1.0 percent versus 2017, from 557 703 units to 552 190. Naamsa is predicting a modest improvement in South African vehicle sales in 2019, with an estimated total of 558 000 units essentially matching 2017’s figures.

Downward in December

In the final month of 2018, the vehicle market shrunk by 1.9 percent year-on-year, according to figures just released by Naamsa and while passenger car sales remained largely flat, with a 0.2 percent decline, light commercials were down by a more worrying 7.0 percent. Medium commercials declined by 10.1 percent, while the heavies recorded an improvement of 13.8 percent over December 2017.

A big silver lining, however, was that exports rose by a whopping 56.3 percent in December, versus the same month in 2017, the volume rising from 20 107 to 31 437 units, and contributing to 2018’s record export figure of 351 154 units.

Hilux still strong, Kwid surprises

The local sales charts saw the usual status quo maintained at the top, with Toyota’s Hilux followed by the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Ranger, while Renault’s entry-level Kwid had a surprisingly strong month, surging to sixth place overall with 1354 sales. Volkswagen’s Kombi also enjoyed a better than usual month, racking up 408 sales.

TOP 30 - DECEMBER 2018

Toyota Hilux 2907
Volkswagen Polo 2051
Ford Ranger 1931
Volkswagen Polo Vivo 1711
Nissan NP200 1572
Renault Kwid 1354
Toyota Quantum 1245
Toyota Fortuner 1027
Hyundai Grand i10 906
Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest 858
Renault Clio 775
Hyundai i20 619
Isuzu D-Max 593
Nissan NP300 Hardbody 539
Datsun Go 508
Kia Picanto 508
Toyota Etios 507
Volkswagen Tiguan 485
Renault Sandero 449
Ford Figo 424
Isuzu KB 420
Suzuki Swift 419
Toyota Avanza 416
Toyota Rav4 410
Volkswagen Kombi 408
Mazda CX-5 389
Ford Everest 385
Ford EcoSport 332
Volkswagen Amarok 323
Kia Rio 304

IOL Motoring