Johannesburg - Following months of modest growth, South African new vehicle sales entered negative territory in August.
The market saw an overall decline of 2.5 percent versus August last year, to 47 964 units in total, with passenger car sales falling 2.2 percent to 32 169 and light commercials seeing a 5.8 percent drop to 13 956.
More encouraging from an economic perspective, however, was the respective 9.3 percent and 18.8 percent gains registered in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle markets and speaking of positive news, new vehicle exports surged by 7.7 percent to 32 247 units.
However, Naamsa expects the South African market to remain under pressure for the foreseeable future, due to flagging business and consumer confidence.
Inflationary pressures are also expected to take their toll, not only through record fuel prices and other general expenses that might cause motorists to hold off on new car prices - unless the rand recovers soon from its latest plunge, new vehicle prices are certain to increase.