SA vehicle sales | September sees surprise uptick in new vehicle sales

The sales statistics for September 2019 are in and there's been a slight increase in numbers for a few segments.

Recent monthly sales figures this year has seen a decline on year-on figures, however, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said that the slide in the performance of the overall new vehicle market continued into September 2019, but that the volume passenger car segment reflected an unexpected but welcome uptick, largely supported by strong sales to the car rental industry.

Naamsa confirmed that the aggregate domestic new vehicle sales, at 49 191 units, reflected a decline of 439 units or 0.9 % from the 49 630 new vehicles sold in September last year. Monthly export sales had registered a modest decline compared to the high base level of the corresponding month last year but the upward momentum remains strong. 

Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 49 191 vehicles, an estimated 37 707 units or 76.7% represented dealer sales, an estimated 18.9% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.1% to industry corporate fleets, and 1.3% to government. 

                                 Image: QuickPic

Modest increase

The September 2019 new passenger car market reflected a welcome surprise on the upside and, although only modest, increased by 358 cars or 1.1% to 33 139 units compared to the 32 781 new cars sold in September 2018. The car rental industry continued to support domestic volumes, accounting for a substantial 27.3%, or more than one out of every four new cars sold, in September 2019. 

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses at 13 473 units had recorded a decline of 894 units or a fall of 6.2% from the 14 367 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year. 

Sales in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry reflected a mixed performance and at 790 units and 1 789 units, respectively, reflected an increase of 97 vehicles or an improvement of 14%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, at 1 789 units, the exact same number of vehicles were sold the year before. 

The September 2019 export sales number at 35 657 vehicles reflected a decline of 1 097 units, or 3.0%, compared to the high base of 36 754 vehicles exported in the same month last year. For the first nine months of the year, vehicle exports, at 297 065 units, are now 47 050 vehicles or 18.8% higher than the corresponding period last year and well on track to achieve another record in 2019.

Compiled by Charlen Raymond
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