Motoring / Motoring News
Would it come as any surprise if I told you that the new car battle you see on the road between Ford’s Ranger and Toyota’s Hilux, rages just as fiercely in the pre-owned segment and via online search reporting? No? That’s what I thought. But there are a few interesting surprises along the way. Allow me to tell more about how these manufacturers continue to swap blows.
New car sales in South Africa reached record lows during 2020, according to the latest NAAMSA data. A market decline of 29.1% resulted in a total of 156 163 fewer units sold compared to the previous year – the lowest figure to be recorded in 18 years. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused an economic recession, is widely regarded as the main contributor to the decline in sales as vehicle sales are closely linked to the strength of the economy.
Despite these challenges, Ford’s vehicle sales in the passenger car and light commercial vehicle sector held firm. The Ranger remained one of the top three overall best-selling vehicles for the year with a total of 18 846 units sold, and in second place behind Toyota’s Hilux that came in with 31 263 units.
Top 10 new bakkies sold in 2020
These new car numbers are fully supported by the fact that the Hilux was the most searched for bakkie on AutoTrader in 2020. AutoTrader is the largest digital automotive marketplace in South Africa. As such, it provides unparalleled insight into car-buying patterns in the country.
The Hilux was also the most searched for used vehicle in 2019 and it is a vehicle that keeps on notching up one achievement after the next. According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, the Hilux is the success story of the South African automotive industry this century.
“This vehicle – built right here in South Africa – doesn’t just dominate new bakkie sales; it also dominates total new vehicle sales. And, as can be seen by our data, it is also the most searched for used car in the country. This is because the Hilux is perceived to be a well-built and reliable vehicle that has the support of an impressive dealer network,” he maintains.
It is interesting to see that, in 2020, the Volkswagen Golf demonstrated gains in popularity in the used car market, moving from the fourth most searched for used vehicle in 2019 to the second most searched for in 2020. This could be as a result of the lockdown and impact on the economy; many motorists have tightened their belts.
Accordingly, demand for the Golf has risen above that of two luxury German sedans, namely the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series.
Top 10 most searched for cars in 2020
Now, where the Ranger goes the top of the charts is when it comes to pre-owned sales race by finishing as the best-selling used vehicle in 2020. Ranger accounted for 4.7% of all used cars sold in South Africa and generated 8.3 million searches last year.
The 2020 AutoTrader Car Industry Report provides insight into which makes, models and – for the first time in South Africa – which variants (including trim levels) are important to car-buying consumers.
“The top-selling used Ranger derivative is the 2.2TDCi Double Cab Hi-Rider XL; it is the most popular Ranger by far. It retails for an average selling price of R260 673, the average mileage is 90 596 km and the average year of registration is 2015. The Ranger is especially popular in Gauteng, with that province representing 55.02 percent of total Ranger sales while the double cab is the most popular body type, accounting for 68.86 percent of sales,” concludes George Mienie.
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