Car and truck sales in South Africa has continued its downward trend for another month. Releasing the sales statistics earlier this week, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers in South Africa (NAAMSA) stated that conditions in the automotive industry continued to be characterised by weakening domestic sales and strengthening vehicle exports.
The latest figures showed that the recession in domestic new vehicle sales had accelerated during August. In contrast, export sales of new motor vehicles continued to hold up well. According to the Association, August aggregate new vehicle sales at 51,055 units had declined by 4555 units or 8.2% from the 55,610 vehicles sold in August last year. Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 51,055 vehicles, an estimated 41,456 units or 81.2% represent dealer sales, 12.3% represent sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.6% constitute sales to the South African government and 2.9% to industry corporate fleets. Sales of new cars in the consumer sensitive new car market at 34,885 units reflected a decline of 2958 units or a fall of 7.8% compared to the 37,843 new cars sold in August last year. The slump in new car sales became more severe despite attractive incentive packages offered by dealers throughout the bouquet of importers and local manufacturers. Said the Association, intense competition in an increasingly difficult trading environment continued to put pressure on margins throughout the automotive value chain. Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses during August 2015 at 13,781 units reflect a fairly substantial decline of 1159 units or 7.8% compared to the 14,940 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year. Meanwhile according to the Association, sales of vehicles in the investment dependent medium and heavy truck segments of the industry had registered double digit decreases. “Medium commercial vehicle sales at 889 units and heavy commercial vehicle sales at 1500 units, reflected a fall of 112 units or 11.2% in the case of medium commercials and a substantial decline of 326 vehicles or a fall of 17.9% in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year,” NAASMA concluded.