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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Ford Ranger beats Toyota Hilux to April’s best-seller crown

Ranger's performance comes even after the Tshwane electricity blackout left the Silverton Plant in the dark for two days.


In one of the biggest monthly sales upsets not seen for while, the Ford Ranger has turned the tables on its arch rival, the Toyota Hilux, by taking top honours as South Africa’s best-selling new vehicle in April.

Ranger at the top

Despite operations at its plant in Silverton outside Pretoria being affected by the mass power blackout that left vast areas of Tshwane without electricity for days after the Easter long weekend, the Blue Oval still recorded domestic Ranger sales of 2 201 units versus the 2 187 Hiluxs shifted over the same time.

While the Isuzu D-Max retained its third step on the bakkie podium, its 1 183 models sold placed it down in seventh position, and behind the Volkswagen Polo Vivo that finished third on 1 510, the fourth placed Toyota Corolla Cross (1 281), fifth placed Toyota HiAce (1 267) and sixth ranking Suzuki Swift (1 216).

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Completing the top 10 were the Toyota Starlet (1 098), Nissan NP200 (910) and Hyundai Grand i10 (853), with vehicles assembled in South Africa taking eight places – the omissions being the Swift and Grand i10 both sourced from India.

Month in detail

After registering 14 months of straight sales increases, the April figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa) of South Africa followed the same pattern as March by declining by an equally small percentage of less than one percent.

With total sales of 37 107 units, the figures for April represent a scant 0.2% decrease from the same time last year, but well done on March’s 50 157.

Out of the five main segments, only new passenger vehicle sales ended in the red with a downturn of 6.1% from 2022’s 25 735 to 24 174.

Ford Ranger beats Toyota Hilux in April new vehicle sales South Africa
Despite the Hilux finishing behind the Ranger, Toyota kept is position as South Africa’s best-selling marque in April. Image: Toyota

Light commercial vehicles posted a significant increase of 11% from 9 562 to 10 611, while exports ended in April in the black for a second straight month with a considerable uptake of 13.4% from 27 117 last year, to 37 107 this year.

In the medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial vehicle brackets, the former posted a 20.3% increase from 468 to 563, while the latter rose by the biggest percentage of the month, 23% from 1 430 to 1 759.

On the other side of the spectrum, new energy vehicle (NEV) sales topped out at 1 665 units, but for March as opposed to April. Leading were hybrids with1 408, followed by plug-in hybrids (232) and electric vehicles (232).

Toyota still leading

Despite the Hilux losing its monthly sales crown to the Ranger, Toyota retained its position as South Africa’s top-selling brand with sales of 9 423, with Volkswagen and Suzuki keeping station in second and third places with respective figures of 4 644 and 3 620.

It’s success with the Ranger netted Ford a fourth place finish on 2 804 ahead of Hyundai (2 371) and Nissan (1 681), with Kia placing seventh on 1 546, Isuzu eighth on 1 433, Haval ninth on 1 367 and Renault tenth, also with 1 367 unit sales.

According to Naamsa, the local market is expected to remain as reserved for the rest of the year as a result of ongoing constraints related to load shedding, interest rate hikes, spiralling costs of living and persistent increases in the price of fuel.

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