The downgrading of the national lockdown from Level 5 to 4 in May and reopening of dealerships has reversed some of the new vehicle sales losses recorded in April despite the industry continuing to record less than adequate figures.
Despite a gain of some 30% compared to April, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) still recorded a 68% slump in vehicle sales during May with a total of 12 932 unit moved compared to last year’s 40 428.
Unexpectedly, all of the various segments fell sharply with new passenger vehicles falling by 65.4% from 26 102 to 9 019, while light commercial vehicles bore the brunt with a 74.8% decline from 12 201 to a mere 3 073 units.
Accounting for the smallest drop, medium duty commercial vehicles lost 55.5% to settle at 304 units, while heavy duty commercials and busses dropped by 62.8% for an eventual total of 906 units. Similarly, exports also recovered from the slump in April, but still nosedived by 64.1% in May from 30 152 to 10 819.
“New vehicle sales for May 2020 continue to reflect persistent demand weakness due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as consumer and business sentiment remains severely depressed. The motor industry is currently experiencing unchartered conditions given the current unpredictability in these uncertain times,” NAAMSA said.
“Suffice to say, the impact of COVID-19 on the new vehicle market and when the level of factory output will return to where it was before the lockdown will only become clearer once the entire motor industry becomes fully operational and prepares itself for the “new normal. The performance of exports remains reliant on the performance and direction of global markets. The industry’s export sales for the year will most likely be affected by the projected fall in global vehicle demand as a result of the impact of COVID-19”.
MAY TOP 25 BEST SELLERS
|3||Volkswagen Polo Vivo||636|
|6||Hyundai Grand i10||421|
|8||Volkswagen Polo Sedan||291|
|16||Toyota Corolla Quest||187|
|23||Nissan NP300 Hardbody||141|
Note: NAAMSA has indicted that the publishing of individual figures by makes and models would only apply for May