Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
1 Jun 2020
5:34 pm

New vehicle sales recover in May as lockdown is eased

Charl Bosch

"Performance of exports remains reliant on the performance and direction of global markets".

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”.


1 Toyota Hilux 776
2 Volkswagen Polo 668
3 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 636
4 Isuzu D-Max 611
5 Ford Ranger 538
6 Hyundai Grand i10 421
7 Volkswagen T-Cross 300
8 Volkswagen Polo Sedan 291
9 Suzuki S-Presso 283
10 Hyundai i20 265
11 Hyundai Tucson 235
12 Renault Kwid 212
13 Volkswagen Tiguan 203
14 Volkswagen Golf 197
15 Renault Triber 194
16 Toyota Corolla Quest 187
17 Hyundai Venue 177
18 Kia Seltos 170
19 Nissan NP200 163
20 Kia Rio 149
21 Toyota Fortuner 148
22 Kia Picanto 145
23 Nissan NP300 Hardbody 141
24 Toyota Etios 136
25 Mazda CX-5 134

Note: NAAMSA has indicted that the publishing of individual  figures by makes and models would only apply for May

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