Vehicle sales still depressing

2009-12-03 10:16

NOVEMBER was another tough month for the motor industry, as

evidenced by the rather disappointing new vehicle sales results released

yesterday.

According to the latest figures released by the National

Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) and Associated Motor

Holdings (AMH), total new vehicle sales declined by 6.3% to 34?295 units when

compared to November 2008’s statistics.

Brand Pretorius, chief executive of McCarthy Limited delivered the

results for November and said Naamsa and AMH were hoping for clear signs of a

recovery in the retail demand for new vehicles, but unfortunately no convincing

evidence of an upturn materialised during November.

He also noted that sales to both the private and fleet segments

remained at levels of approximately 50% below the sales peak attained in

2006.

Thanks to strong demand from car rental companies, passenger

vehicle sales actually improved on November 2008’s results by 4.6% to 22 929

units.

However, dealer sales were still showing a declining trend.

“Light commercial vehicles were 18.6% down to 9 872 units, while

sales in the medium commercial vehicle segment dropped by 35.4% to 554 units.

“Sales in the heavy commercial vehicle segment declined by 44.1% to

conclude the month on 940 units,” said Pretorius.

“Various factors such as low levels of business and consumer

confidence, subdued economic activity and limited availability of credit are

continuing to undermine the propensity to buy,” he said.

“It is unfortunately also likely that December is going to be

another slow month, with the result that the total vehicle market could end up

almost 30% down on the previous year.”

On a year-to-date basis, sales are already down by 27.1% to 364 812

units, with a significant decline in sales experienced in every segment of the

new vehicle market.

“Based on current trends and our medium term macro-economic

forecast, a significant increase in new vehicle dealer sales is unlikely to

occur before the end of the first quarter of 2010,” said Pretorius.

“However, strong buying by car rental companies as they fleet up

for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, should get total sales next year off to a good

start,” he concluded.


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