AutoTrader has published a report revealing never-seen-before insights into South Africa’s car market.
The Car Industry Report is significant in that it derives its data from the most detailed and comprehensive vehicle database ever seen before in the South African automotive industry.
The database underpins AutoTrader’s pre-eminent position as South Africa’s most popular automotive website, and the leader in stock and audience.
Accordingly, search data pertaining to the site is a highly accurate barometer of consumer preferences and buying patterns.
Here are eight interesting facts to emerge from this study:
1. BMW is the most searched for car brand
While Volkswagen reigns supreme when it comes to new car sales, BMW is the most searched-for brand online.
According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, 7.1% of all online searches on AutoTrader go to BMW brand: "The total number of online searches in all vehicle categories is also growing.
“In fact, total searches reached an all-time high of 290 million over the period reported on in the report (July 2018 to June 2019). This represents approximately 30% growth year-on-year,” he reveals.
2. The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the most searched for car variant
The Toyota Hilux is the top-selling new vehicle in South Africa and is the most searched for model but the honour of the most searched for variant falls to the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
"Interestingly, two other Volkswagen derivatives – the Polo GTI and Golf R – are in second and third place in the variant rankings,” reveals Mienie.
3. Bakkies rule when it comes to body type searches
The love affair of South Africans with bakkies is borne out in the statistics: of all body type searches, single and double cab bakkies generated the highest search volume.
“It will come as no surprise to learn that the iconic Toyota Hilux was both the most searched-for single cab and the most searched-for double cab,” says Mienie.
4. 74 316 km is the average mileage for all car sales
The average mileage for the top 10 cars in terms of cars sold was 78 952 km.
"This reinforces the long-held view that sub-100 000 km vehicles are the most desirable," says Mienie.
5. R280 309 is the average price for all car sales
The average price for the top 10 cars in terms of cars sold was R268 471.
"I’m delighted to add to this an important statistic: 84% of all cars listed on AutoTrader were sold during the past year,” adds Mienie.
6. More Volkswagen Polos were sold than any other car
The Volkswagen Polo pipped the Toyota Hilux to the post, relegating the bakkie to fourth spot. In second and third place respectively were the Volkswagen Polo Vivo and Ford Ranger. Rounding off the top five was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
"The Polo sold 88% of its total stock at an average price of R212 748, with an average year model of 2015 and an average mileage of 53 360 km,” reveals Mienie.
A comprehensive breakdown of the top 10 with average mileage and pricing is contained within the report.
7. White is the most searched for colour – by far
White is a far more searched colour than any other in South Africa.
"In a whopping 1 158 866 searches nationally, white was followed by black (173 338) and silver (131 703),” says Mienie.
8. Four brands dominate in fuel-type searches*
Toyota is the most searched for brand when it comes to hybrids, BMW is the most searched for electric brand, Volkswagen is the most searched for petrol brand and Toyota is the most searched for diesel brand.
"Diesel currently leads the searches, with petrol in second, hybrids in third and electric in fourth spot. It will be interesting to see how this changes in years to come. We will almost certainly see a change in buying patterns going forward – with hybrids and electric vehicles gaining momentum,” concludes Mienie.
*Important note: electric cars are currently not available from certain car brands. However consumers still performed searches for these brands (e.g. searches for electric vehicles from Toyota).
An electronic copy of the AutoTrader Car Industry Report can be downloaded here.