JOHANNESBURG - 2019 was another sombre year for the South African motor industry, with overall vehicle sales decreasing by 2.8 percent, from 552 227 units in 2018 to 536 626 last year, according to figures released by Naamsa.
This was a continuation of the gradual decline that’s been taking place since 2013, with 2017 being the only year in that period in which marginal growth was achieved.
Last year’s sales decline came in spite of a strong contribution by the rental car industry as well as low inflation that, says Naamsa, made vehicles more affordable in real terms.
The only real silver lining for the industry was an impressive 10.2 percent year-on-year growth in vehicle exports, culminating in an all-time record of 386 863 units shipped overseas.
On the local sales front, buyers continued to gravitate towards entry-level hatchbacks as well as smaller SUVs, as you’ll see in the top 10 list below. In fact, the stellar performance by Renault’s Kwid, which made eighth place overall, shows that the market is hungry for more affordable vehicles.