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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

June vehicles sales a 1-2 for Toyota as Hilux leads Corolla Cross

Locally made vehicles filled eight of the top ten places.

A defiant local automotive industry kept its ahead well above troubled waters to record a second consecutive month of sales increases in June following an uptake the previous month, and a meagre 0.2% decrease in April.

Local domination

While the Toyota Hilux, unsurprisingly, kept its position as the nation’s best-selling new vehicle with sales again testing the limits of 4 000 units, its Durban stablemate, the Corolla Cross registered one of its biggest uptakes in recent months with 2 115 recorded sales.

Locally made models in fact filled the top five places with the Ford Ranger placing third (2 099), the Volkswagen Polo Vivo fourth (1 967) and the Isuzu D-Max fifth (1 953).

ALSO READ: Hilux back on top as new vehicle sales end May on a high

Down in seventh behind the Indian-made Suzuki Swift (1 685), the Toyota Fortuner added to the local flavour by finishing seventh on 1 639 units, it’s highest since March when 1 409 examples emerged from the Prospecton Plant.

Finishing eighth, the Toyota Starlet rated as the only other model that made into the top 10 not to made on local soil with sales of 1 415, marginally ahead of the Toyota HiAce (1 413), and some distance in front of the venerable Nissan NP200 (1 108).

Month in detail

Despite continuing where it left off in May, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) recorded a comparatively higher increase in June of 14.0% from 41 052 twelve months ago, to 46 810.

Bar one, the various segments ended the month in the black with passenger vehicles increasing 0.8% from 29 544 to 29 795, and light commercial by a record 57.1% from 2022’s 8 875 to 13 945.

Ending the month on a high if not by the same amount, medium-duty commercial vehicles rose 8.2% from 687 to 743 and heavy-duty commercials by 19.6% from 1 946 to 2 327.

After posting a record of its own in May with a 67.5% sales hike, exports dropped a notch in June by declining 12.6% from June 2022’s 31 216 to 2023’s 27 296.

Surprisingly, no new energy vehicles sales, comprising hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electrics, were disclosed.

Month of surprise

Describing the June showing as having “exceeded expectations”, Naamsa remarked that the first six months of the year had seen the industry register a 4.8% uptake versus the same time last year, with exports also being higher by 4.7%.

“Challenges confronting the economy and the automotive industry such as high interest rates, high inflation, and currency depreciation continue to strain consumers’ budgets and affordability appears to be driving new vehicle sales, underlined by the top selling models in the market,” the association said.

“In addition to an easing in inflation by more than expected as well as an improvement in significantly less daytime loadshedding during the month, another welcome development was the renewed collaboration between business and government to urgently tackle key current challenges relating to energy, infrastructure and transport logistics, as well as combating crime.

“If successful, the collaboration efforts could assist to reduce policy uncertainty and promote a more predictable economic environment which would enable much higher levels of investment, growth and job creation and to break out of the current low economic growth trap,” it concluded.

Top 10 brands

Out of the country’s top ten brands, the top six remained unchanged from May with Toyota topping the list on 13 016 ahead of Volkswagen (5 578) and Suzuki (4 335), with Hyundai ranking fourth (2 645), Ford fifth (2 514) and Nissan sixth (2 380).

Jumping up a place to seventh on 2 365 was Isuzu, followed by Renault (1 836), with Haval dropping two places to ninth (1 749). Staying steady in tenth was Kia with 1 668 units sold.

June Top 50 Best Selling Cars

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

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