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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


New vehicle sales: Local production reigns supreme in February

Not seen since before the Covid-19 pandemic, no decrease in sales or exports were recorded.


The upwards trajectory in new vehicle sales continued into February despite mounting concerns over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a month were no declines in the respective markets segments were posted, the Toyota Hilux remained on top with sales of 3 503, making it the only vehicle to record more than 2 000 units for the second month in a row.

Repeating the procession from January, Toyota also took the second step on the podium this time with the Corolla Cross (1 693), while the Starlet placed fourth (1 607) behind the Volkswagen Polo Vivo (1 634).

Locally assembled models made up the next two places in the shape of the Toyota HiAce (1 458) and Isuzu D-Max (1 401), followed by the Indian-sourced Suzuki Swift (1 313).

Due in part to the arrival of the facelift model, the Volkswagen Polo slipped from third to eighth with sales of 1 186 units, thus edging out the Toyota Fortuner (1 101) and Renault Kwid (1 041).

According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the 44 229 vehicles moved reflected an increase of 18.4% from the 37 369 moved in February last year. At the same time, it also bettered the 41 382 units sold last month.

As mentioned, none of the individual segments ended in the red with passenger vehicles posting a 22.4% increase from 24 144 to 29 563, and light commercial vehicles a substantial uptake of 9.4% from 11 232 to 12 290.

After a mixed January, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles followed the status quo with the former jumping 7.5% from 343 to 572, and the latter 23.5% from 1 461 to 1 804.

ALSO READ: New vehicle sales: Hilux remains top as Suzuki posts record in January

In a reversal of last month, exports finished in the black with the 32 867 units shipped representing an increase of 12.3% from 2021’s 29 277.

“The healthy performance in the new vehicle market reflected an improvement in domestic demand conditions, although year-on-year comparisons remain difficult to interpret because of differing pandemic circumstances during the corresponding period 2021,” NAAMSA said.

“The growth-positive National Budget passed during the month provided some good news for business and consumers with a cut in corporate income tax, accommodating adjustments in personal income tax brackets and no hike in the fuel or Road Accident Fund levy, for the first time since 1990.

“However, South African motorists’ relief was short-lived as fuel prices will hit record highs in March 2022 with petrol to cost more than R21 a litre for the first time ever”.

It also warned that the increase, upwards adjustment of the CO2 tax from April and the attack on Ukraine could result in a potential negative outlook further spearheaded by the Rand appreciating against the US Dollar.

“Although the ABSA Purchasing Managers’ Index [PMI] for February 2022 reflected that purchasing managers remained upbeat about expected business conditions in six months’ time, the renewed disruptions in the operations of global supply chains amid an escalation of the Ukrainian conflict will not only have cost implications for the domestic economy but could also negatively impact sentiment,” NAAMSA continued.

“In view of the positive performance in vehicle exports during the month, prospects for 2022 remain optimistic in line with favourable economic and market conditions abroad as well as on the back of positive domestic developments such as further new locally manufactured model introductions in 2022”.

Out of the best performing manufacturers, the top four from January remained unchanged with Toyota first (13 458), Volkswagen second (6 153), Suzuki third (3 240) and Hyundai fourth (3 017). Placing fifth is Nissan (2 126) followed by Haval (2 054), Renault (2 047), Ford (1 877), Kia (1 737) and Isuzu (1 677).

FEBRUARY TOP 50 BEST SELLERS

POSMODELUNITS
1Toyota Hilux3 503
2Toyota Corolla Cross1 693
3Volkswagen Polo Vivo1 634
4Toyota Starlet1 607
5Toyota HiAce1 458
6Isuzu D-Max1 401
7Suzuki Swift1 313
8Volkswagen Polo1 186
9Toyota Fortuner1 101
10Renault Kwid1 041
11Nissan NP2001 020
12Volkswagen T-Cross990
13Toyota Urban Cruiser927
14Ford Ranger879
15Toyota Agya858
16Volkswagen Polo Sedan818
17Hyundai Atos778
18Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up766
19Ford EcoSport703
20Suzuki Vitara Brezza664
21Hyundai Venue644
22GWM P-Series623
23Toyota Corolla Quest575
24Haval Jolion561
25GWM Steed526
26Hyundai Grand i10508
27Renault Triber 488
28Nissan Navara476
29Toyota Rumion459
30Kia Picanto429
31Suzuki Jimny394
32Haval H6329
33Suzuki S-Presso311
34Renault Duster301
35Kia Sonet300
36Kia Rio290
37Nissan Almera286
38Volkswagen T-Roc265
39Toyota Land Cruiser 70-series250
40Hyundai H100242
41Kia Seltos222
42Kia K2500/2700215
43Volkswagen T6.1213
44Nissan Magnite211
45Ford Everest201
46Hyundai i20193
47Hyundai Creta190
48Hyundai Staria183
49Kia Pegas170
50Suzuki Ertiga160

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