The Ford Ranger did the almost unthinkable last month by knocking the Toyota Hilux off its perch as South Africa’s top-selling new bakkie.
Official sales figures for May show that Ford sold 1 548 Rangers compared to the 1 368 Hiluxes Toyota sold.
It must be noted that the Hilux’s slide is largely due to a major shortage of stock due to a halt in its production. Toyota’s assembly plant in Prospecton, where the Hilux is built, was shut down in April to clean up and repair due to the damages caused by the severe flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.
But as hollow as the win might be, it is nonetheless a rare silver lining for Ford after its assembly line in Silverton, where the Ranger is built, has also been feeling the pinch over the last year.
First plant upgrades in 2021 slowed down production whereafter constant parts shortages has seen the Ford Ranger at times being squeezed out of the number two selling bakkies spot by Isuzu.
By recording sales of 1 168, the Isuzu D-Max was the third best selling new bakkie in May, edging out the Nissan NP200, of which 1 066 were sold.
Fifth place on the list of top-selling bakkies in May is taken up by the Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up (688).
The Suzuki Swift was another big winner in May, not only becoming South Arica’s top-selling passenger car, but also walking away with the accolade of overall best seller. The 1 764 Swifts sold in May helped the Japanese carmaker set yet another new record of 4 331 overall monthly sales.
Suzuki closed the gap to second-placed Volkswagen (4 778) to 447, while Toyota (6 664) remains streets ahead despite its supply constraints.
While the Prospecton shutdown also severely hampered the Corolla Cross’ sales – down from its regular heights of 1, 00+ to just 181 – the Urban Cruiser (1 213) had another good month to finish May as Mzansi’s second best-selling passenger car.
Part supply shortages at VW’s Kariega Assembly plant also had a knock-on effect in Polo (1 124) and Polo Vivo (1 179) sales. The pair, which has secured the top two spots many times in the past, finished May as the country’s third and fourth best-selling passenger cars.
The Polo pair’s SUV stablemate, the T-Cross finished in fifth place on 981, edging out the Haval Jolion (975) and Renault Kiger (962).
The rest of the top 10 passenger cars for May were Toyota Rumion (834), Renault Kwid (827) and Suzuki S-Presso (783).
The total number of new vehicle sales recorded in May – 39 177 – shows a 2.1% increase compared to the same period last year.
Exports were less rosy, with the 25 786 units recorded in May reflecting a big decline of 29.9%, or 11 013 vehicles, from May 2021.
To see the May report from Naamsa, The Automotive Business Council, click here.