The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said on Tuesday that the industry domestic sales ended 2017 on a weak note, with aggregate industry new vehicle sales for December, 2017 at 40,636 units.
This was a decline of 1,008 vehicles, or a fall of 2.4 percent, compared to the total new vehicle sales of 41,644 units during the corresponding month of December, 2016.
The December 2017 new passenger car market and light commercial vehicle market reflected a year-on-year volume decline of 6.4 percent in the case of cars and an improvement in the case of light commercial vehicles of 7.0 percent.
Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles were essentially unchanged year-on-year.
Export sales also recorded a decline in December, 2017, and at 17,374 units reflected a fall of 1,333
vehicles, or 7.1 percent, compared to the 18,707 vehicles exported during December, 2016.
Naamsa said this was largely attributable to the effect of model run out and new model introduction of the new VW Polo range in 2018.
Generally, Naamsa said that 2017 was a challenging year for the industry which was characterised by a slight improvement in domestic sales, offset by a modest fall in vehicle exports.
For the first time in four years, new vehicle sales during 2017 in South Africa recorded a year-on-year
improvement, albeit at a modest 1.8 percent in volume terms.
The improvement, due to modest gains in new car and light commercial vehicle sales, was encouraging given subdued economic growth, pressure on consumers’ disposable income and low levels of consumer and business confidence.
“Whilst the modest improvement was welcome, the figures should be seen in the context of industry sales 11
years ago when the domestic market recorded an all-time high sales number of 714,314 units of which the new
car market had represented 481,558 vehicles,” Naamsa said.
Naamsa said that it anticipates further modest improvement in domestic new vehicle sales during 2018, as well as
further growth in vehicle exports and industry production numbers.
Naamsa said that recent economic indicators support the view that the South African economy is performing better than anticipated despite low levels of business and consumer confidence.
Taking into account the time effect of various new model introductions, Naamsa said the new car market should improve
during 2018 by around 2 percent and the light commercial vehicle market by double that percentage.
– African News Agency (ANA)