Johannesburg - South African new car sales saw a surprising (albeit modest) return to growth in April, but there wasn’t any good news for bakkies and other light commercial vehicles, according to the latest sales figures released by Naamsa.
The overall new vehicle market recorded an aggregate sales figure of 36 794 units last month, which was a 0.7 percent improvement over the same month last year. Of those, 24 989 were passenger vehicles, representing a year-on-year improvement of 3.9 percent, while light commercial vehicles, at 9810 units, saw an 8.1 percent decline over April 2018.
This trend was reversed in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments, which recorded respective year-on-year gains of 19.7 percent and 7.8 percent.
However, the real champion was export sales, which improved by 53.8 percent year-on year, to total 33 090.
What the experts said
Mark Dommisse, Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association:
“Whilst there is demand for new cars, consumer decisions are being delayed due to continuous fuel increase, especially in the premium passenger segment. The pressure on consumer spending is ongoing. The 9% increase in fuel last month tied to increases in municipal rates and Eskom tariffs, as well as the upcoming elections, means that sentiment will remain under strain for the medium term.”
Ghana Msibi, WesBank Executive Head of Motor:
“While the market will no doubt be reassured by this good news, it should not grasp at any major turn-arounds just yet. The April market total of 36 794 units was still way behind March sales of 47 687.
“Household budgets are continuing to remain under pressure and consecutive months of petrol price increases will no doubt begin to take their toll. Combined with the natural uncertainty ahead of May elections, the April sales performance becomes even more reassuring as these conditions could easily have resulted in the continuing decline trend.”
“Consumer and business confidence levels are low, household disposable income remains under pressure due to rising costs of living and lower domestic and global economic growth forecasts which continues to signal moderation in new vehicle sales.
“However, constructive political and economic reforms after the country’s general election on 8 May 2019 could see an improved second half performance in terms of new vehicle sales.”
50 TOP SELLING VEHICLES: APRIL 2019
|2||Volkswagen Polo Vivo||2350|
|4||Isuzu D-Max / KB||1242|
|11||Hyundai Grand i10||718|
|13||Nissan NP300 Hardbody||515|
|18||Toyota Corolla Quest||436|
|25||BMW 3 Series||354|
|31||Datsun Go +||296|
|35||Hyundai H100 Bakkie||248|
|38||Volkswagen Polo Sedan||235|
|42||Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up||208|