We analyse some of the most important new cars launched during the first half this year – and how well they have traded.
With half of 2019 gone, many of the important new model introductions have been released. But which crucial new models have done well for their respective brands, and which haven’t?
BMW 3 Series
The seventh-generation 3 Series was introduced in March and launched with only two engine derivatives: 320d and 330i. Both these nameplates are powered by four-cylinder engine which are 2-litres in capacity and turbocharged, one burning petrol and the other compression igniting diesel.
In the history of 3 Series, that is quite a narrow model range, but demand has remained true. Although most of the BMW market share in South Africa is now secured by crossovers and SUVs, the 3 Series remains an influential car for the brand. In the four months new 3 Series has been on sale, it has registered total customer deliveries of 1231 units.
Toyota launched the fourth-generation Rav4 to local customers late in March. A vehicle often overshadowed by its Toyota SUV siblings, such as Fortuner and Land Cruiser, the Rav4 remains inarguable the most popular vehicle of its type in South Africa.
In just over three months that it has been retailed through Toyota’s local dealer network, 2915 have been sold. There is no rival, but for perhaps VW’s Tiguan, which is even close to Rav4’s volumes.
Lexus UX - February - 132
A daringly styled front-wheel drive crossover, which has set a more affordable price point for Lexus ownership in South Africa. As such, it is not surprising that the UX has been a best-seller for Lexus, since its introduction in February of this year. In the time since, it has moved 132 units – more than any other Lexus model line thus far in 2019.
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
For a low-volume brand such as Mitsubishi, new product introductions occur with less frequency. Desperate to engage with buyers in South Africa’s burgeoning compact crossover market, the Japanese brand launched its Eclipse Cross in February.
Although it is nothing remotely like the original Mitsubishi Eclipse, which was a value orientated two-door sportscar, the Eclipse Cross has moved 311 units since its launch. Beyond the brand’s bakkies, Eclipse Cross is by far Mitsubishi’s most popular local product, accounting for most of its passenger vehicle volume.
The most advanced and powerful electric car to yet go on sale in South Africa. For a brand which established itself with in-line isx-cylinder engines and V12s, and for most of its existence only build sportscars and limousines, the I-Pace is revolutionary: a battery-powered SUV.
Global supply is limited and the price is steep, but Jaguar has sold 28 I-Pace SUVs since its introduction earlier this year. Those volumes might be slight, but each one is statement - and we are sure their owners don’t mind the exclusivity, at all.