SA car sales | Compounding struggles not enough to flatten strong sales curve

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• More than 41 000 new vehicles were sold in South Africa in November 2021.

• The sales figure is a 6.6% improvement over the same period last year.

• November is the fifth month in 2021 to show a sales figure of more than 40 000.

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South Africa's new-vehicle market has faced numerous challenges this year, but many seemed to arrive all at once during November 2021. However, the first interest rate hike in three years, consecutive fuel price hikes, a new variation on the pandemic theme, and the return of load shedding didn't deter sales too much.

The market's resilience continued, recording 41 588 sales during November, according to Naamsa, South Africa's Automotive Business Council. November sales represent a 6.6% growth over the same period last year and a marginal improvement (553 units) over October 2021.

While it remains difficult to compare data over periods given the uncertainty of the pandemic for the past two years, a more certain sign of market improvement can be seen in a broader view of sales performance. In 2020, just two months of the year exceeded 40 000 units, and those were the first two months, before lockdown regulations were put in place. However, five months of 2021 have recorded sales of more than 40 000 units, including the past four months consecutively. Market conditions are certainly improving.

Year-to-date, the market has recorded 428 131 sales, up 24.8% on 2020's 342 956.

Lebogang Gaoaketse is the head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank.

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