Johannesburg - Despite all of the current economic and supply-related obstacles, South Africa’s passenger car market is holding up rather well.
A total of 27 437 cars and SUVs were sold in the country last month, which is an increase of 13.8% over May 2021, but bakkies and LCVs did not do so well, with sales falling by 22.6% year-on-year.
Much of that is due to Toyota’s temporary plant closure following the KZN floods, which has led to the Hilux and other locally produced models being in short supply - click here to see last month’s bakkie sales figures.
The car rental companies, which are currently enjoying a post-pandemic resurgence, gave the passenger car market a notable boost in May 2022, accounting for 10% of sales.
Consider that of the 1764 Swift hatchbacks that Suzuki sold last month, making it the country’s best selling vehicle overall, 475 went into rental fleets. Other notable rental industry sellers were the Renault Kwid (386), Toyota Urban Cruiser (270) and Volkswagen Polo (249).
The aforementioned Urban Cruiser was South Africa’s second best selling passenger car overall in May, with 1213 sales, which put it ahead of the Volkswagen Polo Vivo (1213) and Polo (1124).
The T-Cross came in as Mzansi’s second favourite SUV, followed closely by the Haval Jolion.
See the full list of best-sellers below:
30 best-selling passenger cars: May 2022
- 1. Suzuki Swift - 1764
- 2. Toyota Urban Cruiser - 1213
- 3. Volkswagen Polo Vivo - 1179
- 4. Volkswagen Polo - 1124
- 5. Volkswagen T-Cross - 981
- 6. Haval Jolion - 975
- 7. Renault Kiger - 962
- 8. Toyota Rumion - 834
- 9. Renault Kwid - 827
- 10. Suzuki S-Presso - 783
- 11. Ford EcoSport - 674
- 12. Hyundai Atos - 668
- 13. Kia Picanto - 653
- 14. Hyundai Venue - 627
- 15. Suzuki Vitara Brezza - 530
- 16. Toyota Starlet - 494
- 17. Suzuki Jimny - 428
- 18. Renault Triber - 415
- 19. Nissan Magnite - 371
- 20. Kia Rio - 332
- 21. Hyundai i20 - 327
- 22. Hyundai Grand i10 - 314
- 23. Suzuki Ertiga - 305
- 24. Kia Seltos - 277
- 25. Kia Sonet - 256
- 26. Haval H6 - 254
- 27. Volkswagen Tiguan - 251
- 28. Mazda CX-5 - 243
- 29. Toyota Agya - 240
- 30. Volkswagen Polo Sedan - 233
You might have noticed that the locally-produced Toyota models are completely absent from this list.
Thanks to the temporary plant closure, the Toyota Corolla Cross which usually sells in numbers upwards of 1500, managed just 181 sales in May, while the Fortuner found just 196 new homes and the Corolla Quest 69.
Although there’s no word on when the repairs to the Prospecton plant will be completed, some analysts believe that the closure could last up to four months.
While economic conditions are not exactly conducive to strong automotive sales, pent up demand is giving the industry a welcome boost at the moment, says National Automobile Dealers Association Vice-Chairperson Alex Boavida.
“New car buyers who held off purchases during the pandemic over the past two years are now renewing their vehicles thanks to somewhat normalised retail environments,” Boavida said.
“Franchise dealers are noting a trend in the age of vehicles being traded in on new ones. Historically, the average age of vehicles exchanged for new models is around three or four years in line with normal ownership cycles. In recent months, however, dealers have seen this age increase to five or six years which indicates some pent-up demand during the pandemic is finally being satisfied after delayed renewals.”
According to Naamsa, 88.8% of all new vehicle purchases in May (including bakkies) took place through the dealer channels.