Faced with the economic challenges of lockdown, South Africans have demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit like never before. Some people have started sewing and selling masks, for instance. And, based on search statistics on AutoTrader, many may be entering the delivery arena.
"South Africans are incredibly good at making a plan," notes George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO. "And we have observed that, since the commencement of Level 4 lockdown, South African search patterns on AutoTrader have changed to suit the economic opportunities."
There has been a sharp increase in searches for both small and big vans at the end of April and the beginning of May 2020.
"From 1 January to 28 April, van searches were on a downward trend. However, following the announcement of the guidelines for Level 4, which include activity such as food delivery, by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on 29 April, searches for these vehicles have more than doubled," reveals Mienie.
He believes that this is an indication of South Africans showing their ability to "make a plan" – under even the most arduous of conditions.
"They have clearly seen a business opportunity – hence their desire to purchase a van at this specific time. I believe that more and more small to medium-sized enterprises will enter this sector as demand rises (for example, local restaurants offering food delivery for heat-at-home meals)," Mienie says.
The Volkswagen Caddy is currently both the most-searched-for and also the most sold small van. It attracts a premium price (R46 085 more) versus the second most-searched-for and sold - the Toyota Avanza panel van.
While Toyota is in second place when it comes to small vans, it dominates the large van category, where the Quantum is both the most-searched-for and also the most sold large van. It is interesting to note that there are 4.3 times more searches for the Quantum than for its second-place rival, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. There are also 8.3 times more sales of the Quantum.
"These figures underscore the popularity of the Quantum, which is an iconic vehicle in this country," Mienie explains.
* AutoTrader data, for period January to April 2020