PMB truck market booms

2012-02-07 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG businesses and consumers with healthy balance sheets were on the road to recovery in confidence levels in 2011, judging by the latest figures for sales of new vehicles in the city.

Local economist Clive Coetzee told The Witness that commercial vehicle sales soared almost 27% year on year to 1 982 units last year, while sales of passenger vehicles and minibus taxis increased 25% year on year to 3 709 units.

Corporates in particular drove up sales figures in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Commercial vehicle sales in the final quarter of 2011 rose 31% year on year in Pietermaritzburg.

However, Coetzee expected a moderation in the sales figures this year.

The local figures have far outpaced national market performance.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said on Thursday that total new vehicle sales grew seven percent year on year in January 2012, while new car sales increased by 7,5% year on year.

New passenger vehicle sales in KZN increased by 18% year on year in 2011, while commercial vehicle sales grew by 16% year on year last year. This came on the back of a particularly strong fourth quarter, which registered 21% year-on-year growth in passenger vehicle sales.

Coetzee said the new vehicle sales market appears to show buoyancy, particularly in light of the economic concerns.

“A lot of locals delayed their purchases during the recession,” he said. “People have climbed into the market. This shows that there is still some disposable income in the local economy.

“It also shows that businesses have some confidence in the economy. But growth will moderate in the coming months. Many companies, for tax purposes, also regularly update their fleets,” he added.

Overall the KZN market has rebounded well from the slump of 2009, with sales now comparing favourably to sales recorded in 2006.

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