Car sales decline, vehicle exports at 'an all time high' - Here's how SA's car market is shaping up

<i>Image: iStock</i>
<i>Image: iStock</i>

Naamsa reports that the latest domestic sales figures reflects "a difficult and subdued economic environment.  In contrast, monthly export sales had recorded an all-time high". 

The association reports new vehicle sales at 49 670 units, a decline of 974 vehicles or a drop of 1.9% compared to the 50 644 vehicles sold in September 2017.

All the numbers

Export vehicle sales represented a record number at 36 781 vehicles, an improvement of 440 units (+1.2%) compared to the 36341 vehicles exported in September last year.

READ: Weak Rand hurts SA vehicle sales: New car, bakkie sales 'disappointing' in August

Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 49670 vehicles, an estimated 39011 units or  78.6 % represented dealer sales, an estimated 16.5 % represented sales to the vehicle rental industry,  2.7% to industry corporate fleets and  2.2% to government.  

Your car sales dashboard: September 2018

Car sales

The September 2018 new car market at 32786 units registered a decline of 892 cars (-2.6%) compared to the 33 678 new cars sold in September 2017.  Naamsa said: 'The car rental industry had again made a strong  contribution to the monthly car sales with an estimated 23.4% representing car rental purchases."

Bakkie market 

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at  4342 units shows a modest decline of 168 units or 1.2 % compared to the 14 510 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.  

Naamsa said: "The South African economy continued to experience recessionary conditions.  Fixed capital investment remained  under pressure and consumers’ disposable income, already under pressure, would be further impacted by the record impending increase in fuel prices.

"Ongoing weakness in purchasing manager’s indices as well as the Reserve Bank’s leading indicator suggested that business conditions and the general trading environment would remain difficult over the next six to nine months. With three quarters of 2018 accounted for, the indications were that sales in all major segments, on an annualised basis,  would probably register marginal declines compared to the previous year.  

"Vehicle exports remained a function of the direction of the global economy which, despite rising  protectionism and trade disputes, continued to reflect robust conditions. 

"Following the record export sales during September, 2018 and taking into account relatively strong order books reported by most vehicle exporters, exports were expected to improve further and reflect strong upward momentum in 2019, 2020 and subsequent years. 

"The projection of export sales for 2019 was currently 384 000 export units compared to an estimated figure of 340 000 for the current year."

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