Cape Town - New vehicle sales in South Africa continue to show positive gains for the fifth consecutive month, with more than 51 000 cars sold in October.
The new vehicle market registered encouraging gains led by a strong performance in the new car segment despite the continued difficult economic environment compounded by political and economic policy uncertainty.
Naamsa said: "New vehicle exports has been negatively affected by the recent massive storm on Durban Port operations and on production volumes at the Toyota's Durban factory."
New vehicle sales in October 2017 saw 51 037 units, an increase of 2255 units or 4.6% compared to 48 782 vehicles sold in October 2016. Export sales at 28 229 vehicles registered a decline of 2544 units or -8.3% compared to the 30 773 vehicles exported in October 2016.
SA car market - October 2017
The new car market reflects further gains with 35 316 units, an improvement of 2594 cars or 7.9% compared to the 32 722 new cars sold in October last year. The car rental Industry had accounted for an estimated 26.1% of new car sales in October 2017.
Domestic sales of industry new light commercial vehicles (LCV), bakkies and mini buses at 13 376 units during October 2017 reflected a fall of 227 vehicles or a decline of 1.7% compared to the 13 603 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year. This was on top of the improvement in LCV sales in recent months.
Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 51 037 vehicles, an estimated 38 309 units or 75.1% represented dealer sales, an estimated 18.9% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.1% to Industry corporate fleets and 2.9% to government. The contribution by the car rental sector to sales was increasingly difficult to determine since four companies did not report sales by channel.
Reduced vehicle prices
Naamsa said: "Over the past five months, the domestic automotive market segments has held up relatively well despite the challenging economic environment. Sharply reduced new vehicle pricing, at an annualized quarter 32 017 rate of 3.1% according to TransUnion research down from 9.9% in the third quarter of 2016, the July, 2017 reduction in interest rates and in particular continued highly attractive sales incentives as well as continued above average demand by car rental companies - had all contributed to improved local sales momentum.
"However, the impact of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement and the subsequent sharply lower exchange rate came too late in October to affect the sales figures. Overall, however, a year-on-year improvement of around 1.5% for 2017 remained possible. In the case of vehicle exports, continued positive global economic growth trends should support new vehicle exports over the medium to long term."