Johannesburg - Despite gloomy economic conditions, junk credit ratings and fuel price hikes, South Africans are still buying new vehicles at a fairly healthy rate.

November was the sixth month in a row that new vehicle sales improved over the corresponding months last year, and the 49 754 cars and commercial vehicles sold last month was 7.2 percent higher than November 2016. New cars performed very solidly with a 16.4 percent sales hike over November 2016, though bakkies were down 7.4 percent.

Many cash-strapped South Africans are affording these cars by taking out long-term finance deals. According to Absa, 94.2 percent of applications are for a 72-month finance term while more than a third (36.3 percent) apply for balloon payments.

With a month to go, it’s expected that new-vehicle sales for the year will be two percent higher than in 2016.

Next year may be a different story however, as the economy’s hit by the impact of SA’s downgraded credit ratings in the form of reduced consumer and business confidence. Bad news for affordability is that the rand’s expected to depreciate further against international currencies towards year-end and in 2018, which will probably lead to price hikes.

On the flipside, carmakers will continue launching new models and selling them with attractive incentives, while predicted stable interest rates should help keep sales flowing at a reasonable level.

Last month it was the usual suspects filling the top-selling positions, with the Toyota Hilux coming out ahead of the Ford Ranger in the bakkie wars, while in cars the older Polo Vivo slightly outsold the new-generation Polo.

The imminent exit of Chevrolet from SA sees cars like the Spark and Utility selling at a trickle, as the last few leave dealer floors.

THE NUMBERS: NOVEMBER 2017

Top 25 overall

1. Toyota Hilux 3243
2. Ford Ranger 3058
3. VW Polo Vivo 1900
4. VW Polo 1848
5. Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest 1711
6. Toyota Etios 1541
7. Toyota Quantum 1520
8. Isuzu KB 1499
9. Nissan NP300 1465
10. Ford Ecosport 1324
11. Toyota Fortuner 1080
12. Ford Fiesta 1063
13. Nissan NP200 976
14. Kia Picanto903
15. Hyundai i20 819
16. Renault Kwid 757
17. Toyota Rav4 747
18. VW Golf702
19. Ford Everest 669
20. Kia Rio 555
21. Ford Figo 515
22. Hyundai Tucson 494
23. VW Tiguan 488
24. Nissan NV350 Taxi 393
25. Audi A3377

Budget Hatch/Sedan

VW Polo Vivo 1900
Toyota Etios 1541
Kia Picanto 903
Renault Kwid 757
Ford Figo 515
Datsun Go 364
Suzuki Swift 339
Hyundai Grand i10 355
Hyundai i10 331
Renault Sandero263
Nissan Micra212
Suzuki Celerio 186
Datsun Go+ 179

Compact Hatch/Sedan

VW Polo 1848
Ford Fiesta 1063
Hyundai i20 819
Kia Rio555
Toyota Avanza 454
Hyundai Accent 328
Nissan Almera 305
VW Up 261
Mazda2 206
Renault Clio 200
Opel Corsa 164
Audi A1 140
Honda Jazz 121
Toyota Aygo 109
Suzuki Ertiga 98
Suzuki Baleno 83

Compact/Medium Hatch/Sedan

Toyota Corolla/Quest/Auris 1711
VW Golf 702
Ford Focus 440
Audi A3 377
Mazda3265
VW Jetta 252
Renault Megane 215
Opel Astra 140
Hyundai Elantra 119
Volvo V40 78

Compact Crossover/SUV

Ford Ecosport 1324
Hyundai Creta 359
Mazda CX-3 325
Honda BR-V 200
Opel Mokka X 181
Suzuki Ignis 142
Renault Captur 132
Suzuki Jimny 85
Mahindra KUV100 54
Suzuki Vitara 46
Jeep Renegade 40

Compact/Medium Crossover/SUV

Toyota Rav4 747
Hyundai Tucson 494
VW Tiguan 488
Mazda CX-5 295
Nissan Qashqai 269
Nissan X-Trail 226
Kia Sportage 225
Renault Duster 153
Honda H-RV 113
Audi Q5 100
Renault Kadjar 100
Toyota C-HR 98
Audi Q3 77
Honda CR-V 70
Ford Kuga 69
Peugeot 3008 43

Large Crossover/SUV (sub R1-million)

Toyota Fortuner 1080
Ford Everest 669
Toyota Land Cruiser200110
Toyota Prado 91
Land Rover Discovery Sport 71
Chervolet Trailblazer 56
Jaguar F-Pace 53
Jeep Grand Cherokee 51

Bakkies (all)

Toyota Hilux 3243
Ford Ranger 3058
Isuzu KB 1499
Nissan NP300 Hardbody 1465
Nissan NP200 976
Hyundai H100 Bakkie 284
VW Amarok 254
Chev Utility 198
Toyota Landcruiser PU 168
Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up 138
Kia K2700 129
Nissan Navara117
Mazda BT-5070
Mahindra Bolero 62
Mitsubishi Triton 50
Fiat Fullback 29

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