Ford's Ranger once again beat the Hilux to the top of the sales charts.

For the third month since December last year, the Ford Ranger was South Africa's most popular vehicle in May.

The usual front-runner, Toyota's Hilux, is losing a little sales steam as buyers anticipate the all-new model due early next year (read more about it HERE), although Ford's Ranger is also due for a facelift later this year.

Toyota still dominated the overall market in May though, with 8043 units sold, and closely followed by VWSA (7564) and with Ford trailing in third place (6713).

TOUGH TIMES, RENTAL WORRIES

May was another tough month for the industry, with overall new vehicle sales totalling 47 868, down 3.2 percent on May last year. It was actually quite a decent month for the light commercial vehicle market, up 2.2 percent year-on-year, so it was actually the 5.4 percent decline in passenger car sales that dragged the industry down.

The rental companies gobbled up just 3.5 percent of the overall sales pie, worryingly almost 20 percent down on the same period last year, while robust government sales accounted for 6.9 percent of the market and corporate fleets 4.7 percent. Is the rental industry taking a cautious approach ahead of SA's new travel laws for kids? It’s widely expected that these new regulations will put a damper on local tourism.

EXPORTS SURGE

It was a much rosier picture on the export front, with a total of 33 411 vehicles leaving our shores, 114.2 percent more than the same month last year and well on course for the expected record annual export number of 330 000.

While that's good news for our assembly plants, the local market looks set to remain under pressure for the foreseeable future and as far as Naamsa is concerned, the best we can expect is for 2015 sales to match last year's total - and even that depends on a little growth taking place in the second half of the year.

COSTLY TIMES

WesBank's research head Rudolf Mahoney believes that many potential buyers are not prioritising the purchase of a new car in the immediate future. “Over the last few months we've seen a rise in the overall cost of mobility.” Mahoney said. “Fuel prices have increased 18% since the start of the year as a result of a weaker rand, and the Reserve Bank has warned of interest rate hikes in the coming months.”

Toyota SA's Calvyn Hamman added: “The decline in specifically the passenger segment shows a level of caution with the wider car-buying public - this can be attributed to uncertainty around fuel prices, utility prices, imminent interest rate increases and vehicle price increase.”

TOP COMPANIES

1. Toyota - 8043

2. Volkswagen - 7564

3. Ford - 6713

4. General Motors - 4696

5. AMH/AAD - 4311

6. Nissan - 4125

7. Mercedes-Benz - 2748

8. BMW - 2025

9. Renault - 1510

10. Chrysler - 692

TOP 100 REPORTED SALES: MAY 2015*

1. Ford Ranger - 3039

2. Toyota Hilux - 2608

3. Volkswagen Polo - 1879

4. Volkswagen Polo Vivo - 1876

5. Nissan NP200 - 1727

6. Toyota Corolla/Quest/Auris - 1400

7. Isuzu KB - 1255

8. Chevrolet Utility - 1228

9. Ford EcoSport - 980

10. Toyota Etios - 971

11. Nissan NP300 Hardbody - 912

12. Ford Fiesta - 845

13. Ford Figo - 782

14. Chevrolet Spark - 754

15. BMW 3 Series - 686

16. Toyota Quantum - 642

17. Volkswagen Golf - 621

18. Toyota Fortuner - 564

19. Audi A3 - 489

20. Renault Captur - 425

21. Toyota Rav4 - 416

22. Renault Sandero - 410

23. Datsun Go - 406

24. Audi A4 - 401

25. Renault Duster - 365

26. Volkswagen Amarok - 345

27. Toyota Avanza - 333

28. Ford Focus - 321

29. BMW 1 Series - 316

30. Toyota Land Cruiser PU - 303

31. Volkswagen Up - 292

32. Volkswagen Jetta - 291

33. Renault Clio - 284

34. Ford Ikon - 272

35. Ford Kuga - 259

36. Volkswagen Tiguan - 246

37. Nissan Qashqai - 228

38. Nissan X-Trail - 227

39. Jeep Renegade - 210

40. BMW 2 Series - 203

40. Opel Mokka - 203

42. Mazda3 - 198

43. Mazda CX-5 - 192

44. Land Rover Discovery Sport - 183

45. Chevrolet Aveo - 178

46. Honda Jazz - 169

47. Audi A1 - 168

47. Honda Ballade - 168

49. Suzuki Swift - 160

49. Toyota Prado - 160

51. Opel Corsa - 156

52. BMW 4 Series - 145

53. Volkswagen Caddy - 144

54. Audi Q3 - 143

55. Chevrolet Cruze - 142

56. BMW X5 - 129

57. Chevrolet Captiva - 124

58. Mazda BT-50 - 122

59. Honda Brio - 121

60. Toyota Yaris - 120

61. Jeep Grand Cherokee - 117

62. Volvo V40 - 114

63. Audi Q5 - 113

64. Jeep Compass - 112

65. Nissan NV350 Taxi - 111

66. BMW X3 - 107

67. Suzuki Ertiga - 106

68. Nissan Navara - 104

69. Suzuki Jimny - 100

70. Range Rover Sport - 98

71. Mazda2 - 92

72. Honda Mobilio - 91

73. Ford Transit - 89

73. Land Rover Discovery - 89

75. Jeep Wrangler - 88

75. Opel Adam - 88

77. Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up - 87

77. Volvo XC60 - 87

79. Fiat 500 - 86

80. Mitsubishi ASX - 85

81. Mini Hatch 3dr - 83

82. Nissan Micra - 80

83. Mahindra Bolero - 77

84. Mini Hatch 5dr - 75

85. BMW X4 - 73

85. Dodge Journey - 73

87. Suzuki Celerio - 72

87. Volkswagen Golf SV - 72

89. Nissan Almera - 71

89. Suzuki Splash - 71

91. Mitsubishi Mirage - 69

92. Audi A5 - 68

92. Honda CR-V - 68

92. Nissan Juke - 68

92. Subaru Forester - 68

96. Jeep Cherokee - 67

97. Range Rover Evoque - 66

98. Mitsubishi Triton - 64

99. Tata Super Ace - 61

100. BMW 5 Series - 58

* List excludes non-reporters such as Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia and GWM. Shame on them.

Data: Lightstone Auto, Naamsa

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