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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Bakkie bonanza as Hilux leads Ranger and D-Max in February sales

Seven out of the country's top ten best-selling performers all emerged from factories in South Africa.


While South Africa’s new vehicle sales remained on the up in February, for the fourteenth straight month, the sales of certain models have come under the spotlight with particular relation to the usual top 10.

Local with no Polo in first ten

Despite the presence of the Toyota Hilux at the top being no surprise with sales of 3 335 units, the 5.5% uptake in commercial vehicle sales reflected in the remainder of the podium positions, headed by the new Ford Ranger on 1 806 and the Isuzu D-Max on 1 747.

Fourth went the way of the Toyota Corolla Cross (1 683) ahead of the Volkswagen Polo Vivo (1 513), with the Suzuki Swift placing sixth on 1 367 as one of only three vehicles in the first 10 not to be assembled on local soil.

Bakkie dominate February new vehicle sales
New Ranger had one of its best performances in months as it finished second behind the Toyota Hilux overall and second best-selling bakkie.

Finishing seventh was the Toyota HiAce (1 342), eighth the imported Toyota Starlet (1 311), ninth the Nissan NP200 (1 292) and tenth, not for the first time, the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro, whose 962 units sold contributed to the majority of the 1 381 vehicles moved by the Chinese brand.

ALSO READ: Lack of NEV support slated as new vehicle sales rise in February

For the first time in months, the Volkswagen Polo failed to feature in the top 10 with its 815 only being enough for fourteenth place behind its sibling, the T-Cross (889), Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up (844) and the Renault Triber (821). The Hyundai Grand i10 rounded the top fifteen off with sale of 810 units.

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In spite of the record uptake, Head of Marketing and Communications at WesBank, Lebogang Gaoaketse, said the smaller growth pattern should prevail throughout the year in contrast to the high rises of last year that had been benchmarked against those of 2021 when the market had only started to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Bakkie dominate February new vehicle sales
Isuzu D-Max ended third overall and ranked as the country’s third best-selling bakkie.

“New vehicle sales growth should be in smaller increments during 2023 for no other reason than a relatively more stable sales year experienced during 2022. This shouldn’t necessarily be construed as poorer performance from the market, but rather more realistic growth that can be expected as the market continues its recovery,” Gaoaketse said.

He added that positives should be taken away from the 45 352 vehicle sold last month, 2.6% better than in February last year, despite the energy crisis, rising living costs and excessive fuel price increase implemented on 1 March.

“The country’s energy crisis will invariably impact new vehicle sales off the back of declining consumer and business sentiment. However, the market’s resilience shown over the past three years proves how robust the industry remains and that there continues to be opportunity for growth,” Gaoaketse concluded.

NOW READ: Three Toyota models lead, as new vehicle sales start year off on a high

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