Johannesburg - After a modest return to growth in April, May 2019 saw the South African new vehicle market return to contraction, with the total volume of 40 506 units being 5.7 percent below the same month last year, while exports were down by 8.8 percent.
Passenger cars were dealt the softest blow on the domestic front, falling 1.4 percent year on year to 26 170 units, while sales of light commercial vehicles and minibuses declined by 13.0 percent. Medium commercial vehicles were actually up 0.3 percent while the heavies were down by a worrying 14.7 percent.
Consumers feel the pinch
“Household incomes remain under pressure,” said WesBank Executive Head Ghana Msibi.
“Consider that fuel price inflation year-on-year is 9.2%, while WesBank’s average deal size for new vehicles has increased more in line with official inflation at 4.8%. The difference in fuel price since January this year is as much as R2.69 for every litre of 93 unleaded, which gives a very real sense of how much further salaries have to go.”
A focus on affordable cars
“Despite a disruptive first two weeks due to the elections, the passenger car market held its own on dealer floors with a 2.6% increase year on year,” said Mark Dommisse of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association.
“This was mainly due to the uptick of sales in the more affordable price category of passenger cars. The light commercial vehicle market was severely under pressure with significant volume reductions seen this month of -15.1% compared with May 2018”.
Slight uptick expected
Despite the worrying trends that persist at present, including a subdued manufacturing sector, with the PMI down from 47.2 points in April to 45.8, as well as lower consumer and business confidence, Naamsa still expects an improved second half of 2019 for the vehicle industry on the back of anticipated (albeit modest) economic growth.
50 TOP SELLING VEHICLES - MAY 2019
|2||Volkswagen Polo Vivo||2478|
|7||Isuzu D-Max / KB||1312|
|9||Nissan NP300 Hardbody||879|
|10||Hyundai Grand i10||738|
|19||Toyota Corolla Quest||444|
|31||Hyundai H100 Bakkie||272|
|34||BMW 3 Series||264|
|43||Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up||215|
|49||Land Cruiser PU||177|