Johannesburg - Despite the numerous challenges that the motor industry still faces, South African new vehicle sales surged to 50 607 units in March 2022, which is highest monthly total since October 2019.
It also represents an increase of 16.5% over the same month last year. Passenger cars led the way here with a 27.0% year-on-year climb to 33 790, while light commercial vehicle sales fell by 2.7% to 13 795 units. Medium and heavy commercial vehicles recorded respective gains of 18.4% and 14.5%.
“The volatile nature of LCV sales over the past two years has made it difficult to compare accurately year-on-year volumes with any measure of meaning,” said Wesbank marketing head Lebogang Gaoaketse. “But the significant growth in volume in the segment over the previous month is more indicative of growth, especially considering that February was already considered a good sales month.”
Passenger car sales enjoyed a welcome boost from the resurgent rental car industry, which accounted for 11.0% of sales in March.
Naamsa believes last month’s positive sales numbers can be attributed to pent up demand and the increasing normalising of business conditions as well as the availability of enticing new models on the market.
“The temporary reduction in the general fuel levy by R1.50 per litre from 6 April to 31 May 2022, to curtail the record fuel prices to some extent, as well as further relief measures to follow as announced by Finance Minister Godongwana, have been welcomed by motorists,” Naamsa said.
“However, escalating inflation risks, ongoing record fuel prices, low and stagnant economic growth and a rising interest rate cycle will impact the new market negatively going forward.
“Upward pressure on food, fuel and electricity prices will adversely impact all households over the short to medium term and consumers should brace themselves for ongoing cost of living increases,” the association added.
Alex Boavida, Vice Chairperson of the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA), said it was was amazing that new vehicle sales in South Africa continue to grow substantially at a time when the world is in chaos and prices of commodities and other products are rocketing.
“March was a long selling month and the end of the fiscal year for many companies and organisations, but few industry commentators could have expected an aggregate figure of 50 607 units,” Boavida said.
Toyota way in the lead
Toyota achieved a new sales record of 15 008 units in South Africa, which includes Lexus and Hino sales. The Hilux led the way with 4561 sales while the Corolla Cross also enjoyed a strong month with 2384 sales.
Volkswagen was second overall with 6433 sales, followed by Hyundai (3816), Suzuki (3347) and Nissan (3132).
Stay tuned to IOL Motoring this week for our comprehensive new car and bakkie sales lists for March.