Pretoria - New-vehicle sales in South Africa remained stable last month with 42 984 cars, bakkies and trucks sold - a small 2.4% increase over the 41 962 units sold in May last year.

According to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA), the sales were in line with general industry expectations.

New-car sales of 26 651 units gained a marginal 0.7% over May 2017, while light commercial vehicles were up 3.2% to 13 977 units.Sales in the low volume medium (+17.6%) and heavy truck segments (+21.1%) rebounded far more strongly, which NAAMSA said suggested the return of positive investment sentiment and business confidence.

The association expects vehicle sales to show a gradual improvement over the medium term due to further recovery in domestic demand supported by continued moderation in new vehicle price inflation, the improvement in South Africa’s political and policy environment, the March, 2018 reduction in interest rates and unchanged international credit ratings.

“As a result of these developments, supported by improved business and consumer confidence,

a modest recovery in economic growth in 2018 and 2019 is anticipated,” says a NAAMSA spokesman, who expects a 3% increase in new-vehicle sales this year compared to 2017.

Toyota’s Hilux bakkie took its customary slot as SA’s best-selling new vehicle last month, ahead of the rival Ford Ranger.

 TOP 20 SELLING VEHICLES – MAY 2018

1 Toyota Hilux 3338

2 Ford Ranger 2819

3 VW Polo 1979

4 VW Polo Vivo 1904

5 Nissan NP200 1825

6 Toyota Quantum 1482

7 Isuzu KB 1298

8 Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest 1228

9 Toyota Fortuner 1102

10 Hyundai Grand i10 1081

11 Toyota Etios 908

12 Kia Picanto 719

13 Renault Kwid 712

14 Toyota Rav 705

15 Hyundai Creta 700

16 Nissan NP300 686

17 VW Tiguan 532

18 Renault Sandero 489

19 BMW 3 Series 476

20 Hyundai i20 424

 * List excludes Mercedes-Benz which does not report its monthly sales figures