By: Leo Kok

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

May 2018 proved to be better than expected for new vehicle sales with just under 43 000 units sold for the month.

On the up

According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa) all the local brands, barring a few small non-reporters, sold 42 984 vehicles in May. This is 2,4 per cent better than the same month last year and a whopping 20 per cent better than April.

Naamsa says that 87 per cent of all sales were made by dealers, with 7,3 per cent sold to rental companies, 3,7 per cent to the industry itself (fleet cars, demo vehicles and similar) and the remaining 2 per cent was purchased by government.

Top brands

The ranking of the top brands remains unchanged. Toyota is the biggest seller with 10 688 units or 25 per cent of the total market. They are followed by Volkswagen with 6 524 units. Interestingly, VW is the passenger vehicle leader with 5 990 passenger cars over the 5 281 units sold by Toyota.

Ford is third with 4 164 units, followed by Nissan in fourth spot, which sold 4 100 cars in May. Hyundai rounds off the top five with 3 190 units sold.

Lion’s share

The top five represent 67 per cent of the total market, which means that the other 31 reporting brands fight for the remaining 33 per cent.

One should keep in mind that these brands often represent several sub-brands, such as BMW (1 475 cars in May) that includes MINI, Fiat (181 cars) that includes Abarth, Alfa Romeo and Jeep and Mahindra (435 cars) that include Ssangyong.

Top-end of the market

In the luxury and supercar league Porsche takes the lead with 129 cars sold in May. The Cayenne remains the best-selling Porsche with 73 units sold, which is more than the BMW X5 (50 units), BMW X6 (23 units), the Range Rover (18) and Volvo’s XC90 (21 units).

Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz does not report their figures in detail and simply give a single aggregate sales number that includes their trucks, vans and passenger cars.

Moving even higher up on the price scale, Bentley, Maserati and Ferrari are doing very well. Bentley sold 3 Continentals and 3 Bentayga models in May, while Maserati sold 6 Levantes, a Ghibli and a Quattroporte.

Ferrari sold three supercars, but is mum on which models, while brands such as McLaren, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin do not report to Naamsa.

Read our Ferrari 812 SuperFast review by clicking here.

On the up and up

According to Naamsa, we can expect a gradual improvement in vehicle sales for the rest of the year. Sales should continue to improve by a few percentage points every month over the same month in 2017, which by all accounts was a dismal year, with static interest rates, improved business confidence and new model introductions helping vehicle sales improve.