'Positive' SA vehicle sales for February 2017 - Naamsa

 <b>BUYING A NEW CAR:</b> Car sales were steady in February 2017. <I>Image: iStock</I>
<b>BUYING A NEW CAR:</b> Car sales were steady in February 2017. <I>Image: iStock</I>

Cape Town - New vehicle sales in South Africa showed a "positive trend" with 48 113 units sold in February 2017, reports Naamsa (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa).

Naamsa said: "The positive trend in new vehicle sales had been maintained during the month, characterised by noteworthy gains in light commercial vehicle, as well as medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales."

The consumer driven new car market has, however, shown a drop in sales.   

Unchanged sales

February 2017 aggregate new vehicle sales at 48 113 units has been virtually unchanged from the 48 144 vehicles sold in February 2016. Similarly, February 2017 export sales were also virtually unchanged from last year and reflected an increase of 65 vehicles or a gain of 0.2% compared to the 29 323 vehicles exported in February 2016.

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Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 48 113 vehicles, an estimated 38 155 units or 79.3% represented dealer sales, 13.3% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 4.2% to government and 3.2% to Industry corporate fleets. 

February 2017’s new car market at 31 400 units reflected a decline of 1454 cars or a fall of 4.4% compared to the 32 854 new cars sold in February 2016. The car rental industry had again made a strong contribution and had accounted for 19.1% of new car sales in February 2017.  The rental industry’s share was understated since it excluded BMW SA and MBSA car rental sales.  

Domestic sales of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 14 416 units during February 2017 reflected a significant improvement of 1277 units or a gain of 9.7% compared to the 13 139 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.

Steady sales

Domestically, says Naamsa, key indicators such as the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and the Reserve Bank’s leading indicator - which had recorded an extraordinary improvement for five consecutive months - heralded the possibility of an improvement in South Africa’s medium term economic outlook.

In addition, the easing of drought conditions and projected global economic growth of around 3.4% as well as continuing Rand strength which should benefit new vehicle pricing – represented factors which should contribute positively to sales of new motor vehicles over the medium term. Export sales were expected to benefit from the projected improvement in global economic conditions.

Based on the improvement in key economic indicators, Naamsa continued to anticipate that 2017 aggregate annual domestic sales volumes would improve modestly by around 3.5% in volume terms.  

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