The Volkswagen Polo Vivo was South Africa's most popular passenger vehicle in July.

Johannesburg - South Africa’s new vehicle market continues to sag, with July 2019 seeing a 3.7 percent year-on-year decline, to 47 856 units.

However, despite it being a strong month for rental sales, it was passenger cars that took the big hit, declining by 8.2 percent versus July last year, while light commercial vehicle sales actually grew by 2.9 percent. Furthermore, the medium commercial market saw a 14.9 percent improvement and the heavies grew by a substantial 21.4 percent. 

There was also some good news on the export front, with sales increasing by 22.1 percent year-on-year.

More interest rate cuts needed

“While the small interest rate cut during July was warmly welcomed by industry and consumers alike, it may take some more incentive from the Reserve Bank to jump-start the economy and entice consumers back into the new vehicle market,” said WesBank’s Executive Head of Motor, Ghana Msibi.

Although WesBank has noted an increase in demand for vehicle finance, economic conditions remain extremely tough, Msibi added: 

“Retrenchments across the board are hitting all sectors hard and the motor industry is feeling the effects of significantly reduced spending power. Consumers simply cannot afford to replace their vehicles, never mind enter the market for the first time.”

Naamsa said that while the lower interest rate, improving Purchasing Managers’ Index and increasing commercial vehicle sales are good signs that bode well for the rest of the year, “in a low growth environment other structural reforms that deal with underlying issues in the economy need to complement the lowering in the interest rate for sustained improvement in business and consumer confidence going forward. 

“The turnaround anticipated for the second half of the year has not realised in the new vehicle market yet.”

50 TOP SELLING VEHICLES: JULY 2019

1 Toyota Hilux 2996
2 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 2621
3 Ford Ranger 2217
4 Volkswagen Polo 2076
5 Nissan NP200 1730
6 Isuzu D-Max / KB 1723
7 Toyota Hi-Ace 1520
8 Nissan NP300 Hardbody 1166
9 Hyundai i20 863
10 Ford EcoSport 839
11 Toyota Fortuner 810
12 Kia Picanto 800
13 Renault Kwid 768
14 Toyota Etios 762
15 Hyundai Grand i10 654
16 Suzuki Swift 635
17 Toyota Corolla Quest 608
18 Volkswagen Tiguan 595
19 Toyota Rav4 584
20 Renault Sandero 581
21 Datsun Go 548
22 Ford Figo 523
23 Toyota Avanza 518
24 Nissan Almera 466
25 BMW 3 Series 456
26 Volkswagen Polo Sedan 436
27 Toyota Yaris 425
28 Hyundai Tucson 356
29 Mazda CX-3 354
30 Mazda CX-5 351
31 Volkswagen Golf 308
32 Kia Rio 300
33 Nissan X-Trail 297
34 Renault Duster 287
35 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up 287
36 Toyota Land Cruiser PU 263
37 Ford Everest 258
38 Volkswagen Amarok 252
39 Ford Fiesta 257
40 Suzuki Celerio 255
41 Hyundai Creta 252
42 Kia Sportage 250
43 Renault Clio 229
44 Mahindra KUV 223
45 Hyundai H100 Bakkie 216
46 Mazda2 213
47 Toyota Corolla 211
48 Toyota CH-R 199
49 Nissan Micra Active 198
50 GWM Steed 188

IOL Motoring