New vehicle sales unstoppable
The vehicle sales industry reached another record high last month with 1349 units of new vehicles sold representing a 7.1% monthly increase and a 13.5% year on-year increase.
The increase in sales drove the 4-month moving average higher to 1206 units, compared to 981 units a year earlier. A total of 3 645 new vehicles were sold in the first quarter of 2012, 22.1% higher than the first quarter of 2011.
Rudolf Kuschke, an analyst with Simonis Storm Securities said the monthly increase could have been expected given the seasonality of the figures. He said: “March has historically been the best month for new vehicle sales. Government has also been quite active in the buying of vehicles of late.”
Kuschke however said he expect figures to normalise in the next few months due to the seasonality factor, as well as supply issues mentioned by some dealers.
All categories showed monthly increases, except buses, heavy and extra-heavy commercial vehicles. Passenger vehicles showed the strongest increase rising 12.1% m-o-m and 19.8% on an annual basis, while commercial vehicle sales were only 3% higher than in February and 8.4% higher y-o-y. The 12-month cumulative number of vehicles sold continued its strong upward trend, breaching the 13,000 units level for the first time.
At 630 new units sold, passenger vehicle sales showed the strongest increase, rising 12.1% m-o-m and 19.8% y-o-y. Passenger vehicle sales remained on its upward trend, surpassing the 4-month moving average for the 3rd successive month. The 4-month moving average increased to a new high of 528 units, compared to 448 units a year ago. The 12- month cumulative number of new passenger vehicles sold increased to 5,624 units, 10.2% up y-o-y and 1.9% higher than last month.
Compared to February, both Volkswagen and Toyota’s market share increased slightly in March, with these two dealers sharing 52% of the passenger vehicles sold in the month.
Commercial vehicle sales grew slightly slower than passenger vehicle sales in March, although it still increased by 8.4% y-o-y to 719 units sold. Total commercial vehicles sold represented 53% of total new vehicles sold. 616 light commercial vehicles were sold in the month, which was 4.6% higher y-o-y and above the 4-month average of 603 units. 37 medium commercial vehicles were sold and 66 units were sold in the buses, heavy- and extra-heavy commercial vehicles category. The 12-month cumulative number of commercial vehicles sold reached a high of 7,444
units, a strong 13.9% increase from its March 2011 level of 6,536 units.