By: Leo Kok
Motor industry commentator, and director at Mediaserve, Leo Kok gives us a breakdown of SA new vehicle sales for June 2018.
South African vehicle sales ended the second quarter on a high, with sales in June increasing by 3 per cent over the same month last year.
According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa), 46 678 new vehicles found owners last month. Of this, 29 886 vehicles were passenger cars and 14 261 vehicles were light commercials. The remaining 2 531 sales are made up of medium, heavy and extra heavy trucks and busses.
One can usually expect a jump in sales at the end of a quarter, as dealers and manufacturers trade very hard to meet their quarterly sales targets. This is usually a good time to shop for a new vehicle, as dealers are often more willing to offer additional value or discounts on a new car, simply to make those targets.
In June, close to 11 per cent of all vehicles were sold to the rental industry, so they helped boost sales at the end of the quarter. Around 82 per cent of vehicles were sold through the dealer channel, which is, according to some industry commentators, a good sign of healthy consumer and business confidence.
Toyota on top
Toyota again led the pack with 11 823 units sold, with the Hilux (3 936 units), the Quantum and Ses’fikile (1 376 units), the Fortuner (1 190) and the Etios (977 units) leading the pack.
Volkswagen followed with 6 715 units, comprised almost entirely (6 175 units) of passenger vehicles. They are having great success with the Polo Vivo (2 277 units) and new Polo (1 462 units). Nissan surpassed Ford in June with a massive 4 977 units, leaving Ford in fourth place with 4 064 units. Hyundai rounds off the top five with 3 108 units sold in June.
It looks like the luxury vehicle brands that report their sales to Naamsa had a very good month. Bentley sold six cars (including two new Bentaygas and three Continentals), Ferrari sold two 488 GTBs, one 488 Spider and an 812 while Maserati also sold six cars, including three Levante SUVs. Porsche remains well ahead with 97 sales in June.
Moving lower down the sales ranking there is an interesting fight between the brands that sell between 500 and 1 000 units per month.
Suzuki continues to surprise with very strong sales, selling 954 units in June. This is not far off their all-time best month of 1 179 vehicles in February. Behind Suzuki, Honda and Mahindra are having it out with 662 sales for Honda and 506 vehicles sold for Mahindra. Consider that a year ago, Mahindra sold 353 vehicles in the same month, while Honda sold 570 vehicles.
Looking at vehicle exports, Mercedes-Benz saw a quite significant drop in exports of 44,9 per cent to 5 079 C-Class models. Since they are the largest exporter by some margin, this negatively influenced the month’s export numbers, which dropped by 15,2 per cent overall to 26 790 vehicles.
On the whole, vehicle sales are down by 0,8 per cent for the year to date, but Naamsa and others still expect a slight increase in sales for the full year.