Good news for SA! Car sales rise, 'massive' increase in exports - Naamsa

Cape Town - South Africa’s new vehicle sales grew 4.1% in July with a total of 46 719 units sold, reports the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

Naamsa reports that domestic new vehicle sales recorded an encouraging improvement led by new car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales.  

The organisation reports that 46 719 units sold, an increased of 1849 units or 4.1% from the 44 870 vehicles sold in July 2016.

July 2017 export sales were recorded at 35 486 vehicles, a gain of 6456 units, a massive improvement of 22.2% compared to the 29 030 vehicles exported in July last year.

Improvement all-round

Overall, out of the total reported sales of 46 719 vehicles, an estimated 36 999 units or 79.2% represented dealer sales, 13.8% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.9% to government and 3.1% to Industry corporate fleets.  

Passenger car market

The new car market in July 2017 reflects an encouraging turnaround and at 30 826 units sees a gain of 1791 cars or 6.2%, compared to the 29 035 new cars sold in July 2016. The car rental Industry had accounted for an estimated 18.2% of new car sales in July, 2017.

The rental industry share was understated since it excluded data for a number of automotive companies.   

Modest improvement for bakkies

Domestic sales of industry new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV, bakkies and mini buses at 13 774 units during July 2017, reflect a modest gain of 231 vehicles or an improvement of 1.7% compared to the 13 543 LCVs sold during the corresponding month last year.  

Huge increase in exports

New vehicle exports, as previously anticipated, at 35 486 units during July 2017 reflected a substantial increase of 6456 units or a gain of 22.2% compared to the 29 030 vehicles exported in July last year. The momentum of vehicle exports was expected to improve further over the balance of 2017.

We've included a full statement by Naamsa on the outlook for the SA auto industry as well as a video showcasing vehicle sales in July 2017.

What do you think of the state of the SA auto industry? How do you feel about the positive results in July 2017? Email us

Infographic by Absa

Positive outlook

Naamsa said: "The domestic automotive industry was holding up relatively well in the current difficult economic environment. Domestic new vehicle sales were closely correlated with the overall performance of the economy and confidence levels. The fundamental challenge confronting the country at present was lack of confidence - on the part of business and consumers.

"Concerted steps were required by Business, Government and Labour to create a more investor-friendly environment as a means of boosting growth. The improvement in new car sales and the strength in recent months in the light commercial vehicle segment were therefore most encouraging.

"The recent 25 basis points reduction in interest rates should provide some relief for hard pressed consumers, whilst the progressive improvement in South Africa’s trade balance over the past two years would support the exchange rate and in turn would moderate new vehicle price inflation.

"Naamsa continued to anticipate that the overall market for 2017 would probably turn out to be fairly flat at levels similar to those recorded in 2016. Vehicle exports should continue to benefit from global economic growth at about 3.5%."

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