Johannesburg - While South Africa’s new vehicle market remains under pressure, having shrunk by 1.0 percent last year, exports are proving to be a silver lining for the local industry, with record volumes recorded in 2018.
A total of 351 154 South African made vehicles were exported to countries around the globe last year, which was 3.9 percent up on 2017 and the highest export volume ever recorded. To put that into historical perspective, South Africa exported just 25 000 vehicles 20 years ago in 1998, and the figures rose substantially post 2000 as the incentive-based Motor Industry Development Programme of 1995 started bearing fruits.
Today a similar incentive plan called the Automotive Production Development Programme remains in place, but it remains to be seen whether the reforms planned for beyond 2020, which require increased localisation, will affect the production and export scenario.
Nonetheless, the export picture is looking rosy in the short term at least, and Naamsa is expecting further growth in 2019.
South Africa’s vehicle export effort is reliant on just a handful of vehicles, with only five averaging four figures a month. How do they rank? We calculated the top five based on figures for the second half of 2018, which gives a more accurate picture as some manufacturers were phasing in new models earlier in the year.