Acoording to NAAMSA, overall car sales fell from 46 016 in April last year to 44 503 this year, a decline of 3, 4%. New car sales in April fell by 1,9 % from 30 778 in April last year to 30 184. This reflected the lower number of working days in April and the number and configuration of public holidays during the month.
“Intense competition in a challenging, difficult trading environment had resulted in incentive packages to promote new vehicle sales. Furthermore, a modest recovery in the used vehicle market had also been noticed,” NAAMSA said in its statement. Simphiwe Ngona, executive head of Motor retail at Wesbank, financiers of one in three new vehicles sold in SA, said their book bore out this trend.
Nghona says in April Wesbank received 115 000 applications, down from a record 134 000 application in March. Nghona said they had seen a noticable trend towards demo and second hand vehicles, with the average rand value of used car financed standing at a record R175, 000. Consumers were also downgrading vehicles to ease financial pressure.
Sales of light commercial vehicle fell by 6% to 12 077 while of those of heavy duty commercial vehicles and trucks fell by 4,7%.
Nghona said this was because companies had put off buying decisions due to uncertain of the business climate and would rather maintain their vehicles than invest in new ones.
Nghona said this segment generally improved in the second half of the year.
New car sales were expected to grow marginally this year, with Wesbank predicting a 0,8% overall growth to 650 031 units for the year.