Johannesburg - Although the South African new vehicle market has been on the road to recovery throughout 2021, July presented something of a giant speed bump with the riots that tore through KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, as well as disruptions at the country’s ports.
Overall vehicle sales declined by 15.4 percent versus the previous month to 32 949 units, according to Naamsa.
There were no surprises on the sales charts, however, with the Toyota Hilux once again dominating the bakkie market with 2 836 sales, according to figures provided by WesBank, and the Ford Ranger following with 1620 units. The Isuzu D-Max completed the one-tonne bakkie podium with 948 sales, although the Toyota Hiace was technically the third best-selling LCV with its tally of 1241 units.
On the passenger car front, the Volkswagen Polo emerged victorious with 1820 sales. It was followed closely by its Polo Vivo sibling (1619 units), while the Toyota Starlet emerged in third place with 747 sales. The Toyota Fortuner, which usually takes third spot, had a slower sales month, with just 684 units finding homes.
Footnote: As much as we would prefer to provide you with a more comprehensive list of best-sellers, Naamsa unfortunately no longer releases the full list of individual sales figures to the media. The graphic below was supplied by WesBank.
Growth cycle likely to resume soon
Despite the speed bump encountered in July, industry experts believe that the market will quickly return to its growth curve.
“Low interest rates, the return of adjusted Level 3 lockdown regulations, and some improvement to civil stability will provide a good basis for the industry’s determination to once again shine through,” said WesBank marketing head Lebogang Gaoaketse. However, he added that July had exposed the fragility of the market’s recovery. “Not only did the month bring physical impacts, but the resulting consequences in business and consumer confidence will continue to challenge the industry’s recovery for months to come. Once again, the industry’s resilience is being put to the test,” Gaoaketse said.
Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa reaffirmed that gradual recovery in new vehicle sales would likely continue for the remainder of 2021, although he added that the civil unrest had left a big dent in South Africa’s economic recovery.
“The devastating economic impact and unintended consequences of these actions not only caused a setback in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic but could prolong the economic recovery process and also have a lasting impact on the country’s challenges of dealing with poverty, inequality, and unemployment,” Mabasa said.