• Bakkies dominate the South African vehicle sales market.
• The Hilux remains the most popular bakkie in South Africa.
• The Ford Ranger is the most top-selling bakkie in the used market.
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We all know that South Africans are besotted with bakkies; this is reflected in both new and used vehicle sales data. But which was their most desired bakkie in 2020?
An analysis of AutoTrader data for the full 2020 calendar year reveals that the most searched for bakkie – irrespective of single or double cab – is the perennially popular Toyota Hilux. AutoTrader is the largest digital automotive marketplace in South Africa. Accordingly, it provides unparalleled insight into car-buying patterns in the country.
The Hilux is the top-selling new vehicle in South Africa and also the top-selling model in the Toyota range. Last month (December 2020), the company sold a whopping 3 233 Hilux bakkies. These sales (along with 1 221 Hiace van sales) accounted for Toyota's massive 45.7% share of the light commercial vehicle segment during that month. The Hilux was also the most searched for single and double cab during the 2019 calendar year.
According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, the Hilux's popularity in South Africans seems to show no sign of abating. "First launched in 1969, the Hilux nameplate was the best-selling new car in 16 countries in 2019, from Australia to Peru and Argentina. It is now in its eighth generation in South Africa and still as desirable as ever," he notes.
The same can be said of the Ford Ranger – which remains popular in the new and used market in South Africa. According to AutoTrader's latest annual Car Industry Report, it was the top-selling used vehicle overall in South Africa for July 2019 to June 2020. While it usually plays second fiddle to the Hilux in the new vehicle sales statistics, the Ranger outsold its Japanese rival in October 2020. It is also the best-selling vehicle in New Zealand.
The rest of the lists of most-searched-for single and double cabs in 2020 mimic new and used vehicle sales. However, it's worth noting that used bakkie buyers remain crazy about the Chevrolet Lumina, which has not been available new for seven years. Having said this, the Lumina – marketed in the Middle East and South Africa as a Chevrolet-badged version of the Holden Commodore produced in Australia – acquired a passionate fanbase. So, while it's gone (from the new vehicle market), it is anything but forgotten.