The Volkswagen Polo was South Africa's most popular passenger vehicle in November.

Johannesburg - The South African new vehicle market saw a year-on-year decline in November, according to Naamsa, with overall sales (at 47 486) down 4.6 percent on the same month last year.

The light commercial vehicle market saw the biggest decline of 6.1 percent year-on-year, while the passenger car sector experienced a 5.4 percent drop, but there was at least some good news on the medium and heavy commercial vehicle front, with those segments enjoying respective growth of 17.5 percent and 16.2 percent.

Export sales were up 2.5 percent over November last year, totalling 34 352, although work stoppages at various factories are said to have hampered exports during the month.

WesBank’s sales and marketing head Ghana Msibi partially attributes the drop in domestic sales to the interest rate hike that was announced during the month. Yet despite all that, consumer demand remains robust, he added:

“Considering WesBank application data, consumers are clearly keen to buy cars.

“However, a lot of that demand has shifted to the used car market (69% of all applications were for used cars), indicative of the stress in the new car market as well as the worsening household situation with regard to disposable income and general affordability.”

The finance institution’s data also shows that motorists are holding onto their cars for longer.

Naamsa expects the market to remain under pressure over the medium term:

“In the circumstances, the best that could be anticipated was for the domestic new vehicle market to stabilise in coming months, however, any recovery would likely be modest.”

On the local sales charts, the Toyota Hilux and latest-generation Polo surged ahead, both surpassing the 3000 unit mark, while the Ford Ranger and previous-generation Polo (Vivo), took third and fourth spots.

TOP 30: NOVEMBER 2018

Toyota Hilux 3235
Volkswagen Polo 3092
Ford Ranger 2506
Volkswagen Polo Vivo 2427
Nissan NP200 1698
Toyota Quantum 1694
Toyota Corolla/Quest/Auris 1426
Isuzu D-Max / KB 1418
Ford Figo 1195
Nissan NP300 Hardbody 1002
Ford Fiesta 980
Toyota Fortuner 886
Renault Kwid 847
Toyota Yaris 746
Toyota Etios 731
Hyundai Grand i10 726
Hyundai i20 721
Volkswagen Tiguan 612
Kia Picanto 567
Renault Sandero 554
Datsun Go 528
Nissan Almera 520
Toyota Avanza 503
Mazda CX-5 428
Kia Sportage 427
Ford Everest 405
Ford EcoSport 400
Toyota Rush 350
Nissan Micra 348
Toyota Rav4 337

IOL Motoring