South Africa’s new vehicle sales posted its best pre-Coronavirus lockdown figures in November despite being unsurprisingly well down on those of last year. According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), overall sales, while up from October’s 38 752, decreased by 12.0% from 2019’s 44 670 to 39 315 units.
Individual segments were however mixed with new passenger vehicle sales falling by 18.1% from 31 403 to 25 707 while light commercial vehicles posted a surprise 5.3% increase from last year’s 10 676 to 11 243. The sales of medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles were both down with the former falling 9.5% and the latter 8.4% to settle at 664 and 1 701 units respectively. Vehicle exports also ended November in the red with a decline of 7.6% from 34 588 to 31 966.
“A positive development is the steady small recovery gains in the new-vehicle market over recent months, however, real growth is still far away. The economic scars of the Covid-19 pandemic are extreme and the domestic as well as global economic environment would remain uncertain and volatile over at least the next six months until safe and effective coronavirus vaccines are available and rolled out in South Africa and around the world,” NAAMSA said.
“With low inflation, marketing incentives available on new vehicles as well as interest rates expected to remain low for quite some time, it is actually a good time to purchase a new vehicle. However, consumer behaviour changes and short-term budget pressures could result in longer-term developments on the back of protracted Covid-19 concerns as consumers might have less need for mobility, despite improved new vehicle affordability”.
Out of the best performing manufactures, Toyota remained on top with sales of 9 441 followed by Volkswagen (6 950), Ford (3 895), Nissan (2 744), Hyundai (2 609), Suzuki (2 018), Isuzu (1 573), Mercedes-Benz (1 543), Renault (1 247) and Kia (1 174).