SA vehicle sales show stalling economy

New vehicle sales in South Africa improved in November for the first time since February 2015. According to the latest consolidated sales data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) industry sales totalled 51,256 units representing year-on-year growth of 0.4%.
Sales through the dealer channel grew 7.9%, year-on-year, on the back of new vehicle launches, marketing incentives that and innovative finance deals. The rental channel saw year-on-year growth of 13.2% in November, while sales in the government channel declined 36.4% for the same period.
But new vehicle sales are expected to remain under pressure during 2016 due to a sharp decline in the November 2015 Purchasing Managers’ Index. According to the monthly assessment of SA vehicle sales by Naamsa, new vehicle sales clearly reflected a stalling economy.
The latest statistics for November show that November 2015 aggregate new vehicle sales at 51,256 units had improved by 201 units or only 0.4% from the 51,055 vehicles sold in the corresponding month last year. Overall, out of the total reported, an estimated 43,564 units or 85% represented dealer sales, 8.1% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.9% constituted sales to the South African government and 3% to industry corporate fleets.
According to Naamsa, domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses for November at 15,242 vehicles reflected an improvement of 171 units or a gain of 1.1% compared to the 15,071 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
Overall, sales of light commercial vehicles continued to hold up well with year to date sales slightly higher than the sales recorded during the first eleven months of 2014.
Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments reflected a mixed picture. Medium commercial vehicle sales at 1028 units recorded a decline of 32 units or 3% compared to last year.
In contrast, heavy and extra heavy commercial vehicles sales at 1948 units registered a substantial improvement of 274 units or a gain of 16.4% compared to the corresponding month last year.