By: Leo Kok

Motor industry commentator, and director at Mediaserve, Leo Kok gives us a breakdown of SA new vehicle sales for June 2018.

The second half of 2018 kicked off on a positive note for South Africa’s new vehicle sales. According to Naamsa, the automotive industry body, sales improved by 1 218 units (2,61%) over June and by almost the exact amount over the July last year.

Click here for the June sales report.

Heavy hitters

Much of the growth in July went to the two behemoths that sell the most cars and bakkies in South Africa. Toyota sold 12 840 units in a total market of 47 881 in July, which means that it grew its market share from 25,3% in June to 26,8% in July.  Aside from being the biggest, Toyota is also the market leader in light commercial vehicles with the Hilux being the best-selling vehicle outright with 3 373 sales.

Next up is Volkswagen, who strengthened its position in SA from 14,39% of the overall market to 16,6% in July, selling 7 691 units. It is the leader in the passenger vehicle market with its top-selling Polo (2 817 sales) and Polo Vivo (2 321 sales).

Click here to watch a VW Polo TV advert that was banned in the UK.

One step down from the largest brands, Ford passed Nissan for third place with 4 856 units, leaving Nissan (4 530 units) and Hyundai (3 150) to complete the top five SA brands.

Top-end models

On the other end of the price and sales scale, Bentley had a cracker of a month. It delivered 8 Bentayga models, which is impressive considering the R3 million starting price of the SUV.  Rumour has it that there is a waiting list of over 80 units for this premium SUV.

Ferrari and its sister Maserati also had a good month. Ferrari delivered two 488 GTBs, three 488 Spiders and one lucky South African took delivery of an 812 Superfast. Maserati in turn delivered a GranCabrio, a GranTurismo and no less than seven Levantes, which – along with the Bentayga’s success – proves that the luxury brands were wise to enter the premium SUV market.

One of the grandfathers of the premium SUV market is Range Rover, and it is certainly doing well, thanks to its expanded range of models. The Range Rover Sport remains their top-seller with a massive 91 units sold in July, followed by the Velar (43), the Evoque (24) and the large Range Rover with 18 units sold.

Keep in mind that both Mercedes-Benz and BMW do not report detailed sales numbers to Naamsa, so it is impossible to see how models such as the G-Class, GLS and X6 fare against Range Rover and Porsche.

Fast movers

Porsche had another very good month, selling 85 cars and SUVs. The Cayenne remains their best-seller with 46 units, followed by the iconic 911 (19), 14 units for the Cayman and Boxer and six sales for the Panamera.

A few other supercars and sports models were sold by the traditional brands. Fiat Chrysler sold a single Alfa Romeo 4C, Jaguar delivered 10 models and Audi sold one R8. Lexus delivered one RC and Ford sold a whopping 80 Mustangs.  One should also give a nod to the single discerning buyer who bought the one Fiat Abarth 595!

According to Naamsa we can expect a slight uptick in sales for the remainder of the year. Traditionally vehicle sales improve in the second half of this year and July’s improvement over June signals the start of this trend.

Unfortunately, vehicle exports are under pressure thanks to global trade changes. Total vehicle exports dropped from 34 720 in July last year to 28 063 this year, a decline of 19,2%. Mercedes-Benz remains the export champion, with the export of 9 170 C-Class models in July, followed by Ford with an impressive 6 404 Ranger and Everest models and BMW with 4 216 X3 models.