The Volkswagen Polo Vivo was South Africa's most popular passenger car in a month buoyed by rental sales.

Johannesburg - Despite the presence of a few green shoots, South Africa’s new vehicle market is still in the midst of a dry spell, and September’s sales figures did little to uplift industry sentiments.

According to Naamsa, the month saw 49 630 new vehicles being sold, which was 0.9 percent less than the same month last year, despite an uptick in passenger car sales due to rental fleets being replenished. In fact, more than a quarter of all new passenger cars sold in September went to the rental industry.

Year-on-year, the passenger cars saw a sales increase of 1.1 percent, while commercial vehicle sales declined by 6.2 percent, versus September last year. Medium commercial vehicle sales, meanwhile, were up 14 percent year-on-year, while the heavies remained flat.

South African vehicle exports, at 35 657 units, were down three percent, but this comes on the back of a strong year so far, with the first nine months of 2019 up 18.8 percent on the corresponding period last year.

According to Naamsa, private buyers and businesses are likely to continue delaying the purchases of bigger items like vehicles until there was greater economic stability all around. 

“Although the economy grew in the second quarter of the year off the first quarter’s very low base, the underlying pace of activity remains weak,” Naamsa said.

“The second consecutive large fall in the ABSA Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), from 45.7 index points in August 2019 to 41.6 index points in September 2019, reiterated the weak underlying demand conditions.”

WesBank’s Executive Head of Motor Ghana Msibi said that although year-to-date sales were down 3.5 percent on 2018, there was reason to be optimistic.

“There are definitely more positive economic indicators that will hopefully stimulate improved consumer and business confidence,” Msibi said.

“If the country can sustain these conditions, the motor industry should enjoy some relief to the end of the year, while South Africans might be able to reap some reward.”

50 TOP SELLING VEHICLES: SEPTEMBER 2019

1 Toyota Hilux 3410
2 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 2540
3 Volkswagen Polo 2326
4 Ford Ranger 2321
5 Nissan NP200 2250
6 Toyota Hi-Ace 1482
7 Toyota Corolla Quest 1353
8 Isuzu D-Max 1197
9 Ford Figo 1128
10 Renault Kwid 956
11 Toyota Yaris 925
12 Toyota Fortuner 918
13 Volkswagen T-Cross 810
14 Kia Picanto 775
15 Nissan Sandero 721
16 Hyundai Grand i10 710
17 Ford EcoSport 693
18 Datsun Go 642
19 Volkswagen Tiguan 632
20 Toyota Rav4 608
21 Nissan NP300 Hardbody 605
22 Toyota Etios 602
23 Hyundai i20 595
24 Suzuki Swift 579
25 Toyota Avanza 574
26 Volkswagen Polo Sedan 546
27 Renault Clio 536
28 Toyota Corolla 492
29 Hyundai Tucson 440
30 Hyundai Creta 346
31 Mazda CX-3 334
32 Mazda CX-5 330
33 Nissan X-Trail 309
34 BMW 3 Series 307
35 Nissan Almera 295
36 Kia Rio 290
37 Kia Sportage 290
38 Renault Duster 287
39 Nissan Qashqai 285
40 BMW X3 284
41 Volkswagen Golf 280
42 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up 262
43 Toyota Land Cruiser PU 247
44 Hyundai H100 Bakkie 223
45 Mahindra KUV 214
46 Mazda2 207
47 Ford Everest 199
48 Suzuki Vitara 199
49 Ford Fiesta 181
50 Hyundai Accent 180

IOL Motoring