The Toyota Hilux occupied its usual top-spot on the sales charts.

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

1 Toyota Hilux 3187
2 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 2478
3 Ford Ranger 1973
4 Volkswagen Polo 1390
5 Nissan NP200 1363
6 Toyota Fortuner 1319
7 Isuzu D-Max / KB 1312
8 Toyota Quantum 1302
9 Nissan NP300 Hardbody 879
10 Hyundai Grand i10 738
11 Toyota Etios 719
12 Toyota Rav4 708
13 Renault Kwid 634
14 Ford EcoSport 586
15 Volkswagen Tiguan 536
16 Renault Sandero 535
17 Ford Figo 448
18 Nissan X-Trail 447
19 Toyota Corolla Quest 444
20 Hyundai i20 425
21 Hyundai Tucson 419
22 Datsun Go 409
23 Kia Picanto 395
24 Volkswagen Golf 383
25 Mazda CX-5 382
26 Mazda CX-3 366
27 Suzuki Swift 351
28 Kia Rio 348
29 Renault Duster 341
30 Ford Everest 285
31 Hyundai H100 Bakkie 272
32 Kia Sportage 272
33 Toyota Avanza 271
34 BMW 3 Series 264
35 Mazda2 258
36 Hyundai Creta 249
37 Toyota Yaris 247
38 Hyundai Accent 241
39 Volkswagen Caddy 233
40 Hyundai H1 225
41 Nissan Almera 225
42 Renault Clio 215
43 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up 215
44 GWM Steed 192
45 Nissan Navara 189
46 Toyota Rush 186
47 Suzuki Ignis 185
48 Toyota Corolla 181
49 Land Cruiser PU 177
50 Toyota C-HR 176

IOL Motoring