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SA new vehicle sales soar in January – NAAMSA

The rise follows on the positive sales performance seen throughout 2012 in the motor industry.

Naamsa said that all major segments of the motor vehicle sales recorded double digit year-on-year growth, with new cars growing by 12.3%; light commercials by 20%; medium commercials by 10.6; heavy trucks by 30% and extra heavy trucks growing by 16.6%.

Export sales in January (at 17,399 vehicles) reflected an improvement of 5,794 vehicles or a gain of 49.9% compared to the 11,605 vehicles exported in January 2012.

The association noted that continued strong demand by the car rental industry accounted for 22.5% of total new car sales during the month. This trend supported the market in January 2013.

“Recent exchange rate weakness would have contributed to pre-emptive buying by consumers to avoid higher than expected new vehicle prices,” it said.

Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported industry sales of 52,775 vehicles (excluding Mercedes-Benz South Africa), 76.9% or 40,568 units represented dealer sales, 16.7% represented sales to
the vehicle rental industry, 3.2% to government and 3.2% to industry corporate fleets.

Discussions are ongoing between Mercedes-Benz South Africa (Pty) Limited, Daimler AG, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other stakeholders to facilitate the early resumption of full industry sales reporting.

Nedbank economists said that the market has performed relatively well against the backdrop of weak momentum in the overall economy.

“Overall, economic activity remains generally sluggish, while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand (currency)…,” the bank said.

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