New vehicle sales in South Africa continued to build their momentum during June 2021, despite the continued impact of the pandemic on the industry and the country’s economy.
A year ago, the market was under Alert Level 4 lockdown regulations, a position the country once again enters with adjusted restrictions, said vehicle finance specialist, Wesbank, citing data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).
“While the majority of sales during June were not severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, we should expect a returned level of hesitancy during July,” said Lebogang Gaoaketse, head of marketing and communication at WesBank.
“Both business and consumer confidence are certainly building their own momentum despite the current environment, which is providing continued energy into the slow recovery of the market.”
New vehicle sales in June were only marginally down on May’s figures according to Naamsa. June sales registered 38,030 new vehicles compared to the 38,320 in May and 31,643 in June last year.
A further consideration is a more sombre fact that last month’s sales are 17.2% down on June 2019 sales, Wesbank said.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 38,030 vehicles:
- 86.3% represented dealer sales;
- 7.6% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry;
- 3.9% to industry corporate fleets; and
- 2.2% sales to the government.
The June 2021 new passenger car market at 24,482 units had registered an increase of 5,348 cars, or a gain of 28%, compared to the 19,134 new cars sold in June 2020. The car rental industry accounted for 10.5% of car sales in June
Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses at 11,208 units during June 2021 had recorded an increase of 986 units, or a gain of 9.6%, from the 10,222 light commercial vehicles sold during June 2020.
“Ongoing stronger sales through the dealer channel signals improved consumer and business sentiment. Rental companies are re-fleeting again, while the delayed replacement cycle – due to lockdown restrictions in 2020 – is catching up in contributing to improved new vehicle sales.
“However, of concern is the persistent electricity supply disruptions, port delays, and the third Covid-19 wave of infections being experienced. The vaccine rollout is slow and a third wave of the pandemic threatens to dent the momentum in consumption in the country, especially if the adjusted alert level 4 lockdown restrictions are extended for longer than the initial two-week period,” Naamsa said.
“Stock shortages continue to have some impact on overall sales as manufacturers continue to manage demand versus supply on imports and availability of production, while local manufacturing continues to experience some parts supply challenges,” said Gaoaketse. “However, year-to-date sales remain reassuring as the market continues its slow recovery.”
Data from Naamsa reveals the best-selling vehicle brands over June, with several affordable models featuring towards the top of the list.
Top-selling new vehicles for less than R250,000
VW Polo Vivo – from R222,100 (1,636 units)
Toyota Starlet – from R217,500 (1,165 units)
Renault Kwid – from R162,900 (577 units)
Suzuki S-Presso – from R144,900 (572 units)
Renault Triber – from R184,900 (551 units)
Hyundai Grand i10 – from R196,600 (443 units)
Kia Picanto – from R183,995 (366 units)
Suzuki Swift – from R180,900 (352 units)
Hyundai Atos – from R175,500 (331 units)
Although a few thousand rand over the R250,000 mark, the Nissan Magnite has made an impressive debut in the country, with over 530 units sold in June.
Nissan Magnite – from R256,999