Johannesburg - South Africa’s new vehicle market shifted to a state of marginal growth in March, with overall sales increasing 1.1 percent year-on-year, however this has largely been attributed to pre-emptive buying ahead of April’s triple tax punch that saw government increase VAT, ad valorem and emissions penalties.
It was passenger vehicles sold through the dealer channels that saw the biggest gain last month (8.8 percent year-on-year), while rental sales took a 14.9 percent knock, reportedly due to seasonal factors.
Light commercial vehicle sales were down 2.3 percent overall, although they were up 1.3 percent through the dealer channel.
WesBank’s marketing head Ghana Msibi said: “Following the budget speech indicating an increase in VAT and ad valorem tax from 1 April, it is our view that consumers opted to avoid the increases these factors will have on vehicle purchase prices. These, combined with the renewed consumer and business confidence, and a reduction in the repo rate contributed to the growth in the passenger car segment.”
Both WesBank and Naamsa are anticipating a total market growth of around three percent this year.
Medium term prospects for South Africa’s economy have improved considerably on the back of Moody’s decision to retain the country’s credit ratings at investment grade, with an upgraded stable outlook, Naamsa said.
Furthermore, the association expects the current rand strength to keep new car price inflation at bay, while improved business and consumer confidence would result in economic growth, ultimately translating into improved vehicle sales.
Top sellers in March
Volkswagen’s new Polo Vivo range gathered full sales steam in March, romping to the top of South Africa’s passenger vehicle sales charts, while the NEW Polo tapered off from 2847 units to 2121.
Another notable performer was Renault’s Kwid (up from 582 to 856), while Hyundai’s Grand i10 range - which recently became more affordable with the addition of a 1-litre model - put on another strong 1000+ unit performance.
Volkswagen’s Tiguan once again upset the C-segment SUV applecart, topping the chart with 525 sales, while Nissan’s recently facelifted Qashqai and X-Trail both put in strong 400+ performances, pushing the usual front-runners - Toyota’s Rav4 and Hyundai’s Tucson - to third and fifth respectively.
Below we’ve listed the 12 best sellers in eight of the key segments. Keep in mind that Mercedes-Benz vehicles are excluded from the list as the company does not report individual sales figures.
|VW Polo Vivo||2736|
|Hyundai Grand i10||1032|
|BMW 1 Series||169|
|BMW 5 Series||87|
|BMW 4 Series||80|
|Opel Crossland X||49|
|Toyota Land Cruiser200||136|
|Range Rover Sport||147|
|Land Rover Discovery||94|
|Range Rover Velar||72|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||52|
|Nissan NP300 Hardbody||745|
|Hyundai H100 Bakkie||285|
|Toyota Landcruiser PU||262|
|Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up||196|