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More new cars sold

2024-04-15  Staff Reporter

More new cars sold

NEW vehicle sales in Namibia during March 2024 reached just over 1 450 units, which is the highest number of sales since July 2016, when 1 540 units were sold. Analysts generally agree that vehicle sales are an excellent barometer of economic growth. 

In stark contrast to Namibia, South Africa’s new vehicle market continued on a downward trend for the eighth consecutive month with an 11.7% year-on-year (y/y) decrease to around 44 200 units compared to the previous year.

In the domestic market, March vehicle sales were primarily driven by commercial vehicles with 1 269 vehicles sold to dealerships, 182 to rental agencies and none to government. 

According to an analysis of the sales figures, stock brokerage Simonis Storm (SS) noted that while the first quarter of 2015 holds the record for the highest vehicle sales, the first quarter of 2024 outperformed any first quarter since 2016, with a total of 3 503 units sold, representing an 11.8% increase compared to the same period last year.

“In March 2024, a total of 826 commercial vehicles were sold, comprising 56.9% of total vehicle sales, marking the highest sales figure since August 2016. The surge in sales can primarily be attributed to light commercial vehicles, which experienced a remarkable 29.5% y/y increase,” reads an SS report.  

However, SS pointed out the sales picture varies across different categories of commercial vehicles, with medium commercial vehicles seeing a decline with only 20 units sold, representing a contraction of 13% y/y. 

“On the other hand, heavy commercial vehicles experienced positive growth of 280.0% y/y, with 19 new units sold. 

Extra heavy commercial vehicles, in contrast, contracted by 12.5% y/y, while buses witnessed a significant decline of 66.7% in March 2024. Passenger vehicles, constituting 43.1% of total vehicle sales, saw an increase in March 2024, with 625 new units sold, the highest figure since July 2023. 

This surge in passenger vehicle sales may indicate rising consumer confidence and suggest economic expansion, despite prevailing high interest rates and inflationary pressures pointing to a sustained momentum in new vehicle sales,” SS stated.  

Meanwhile, in the light commercial vehicle segment, the Toyota Hilux maintained its position as the most popular choice. According to SS, the Hino 300 series stood out in the medium commercial vehicle category, while the Hino 500 series led in heavy commercial vehicles. Extra heavy commercial vehicles were dominated by the Man TGS, and Scania emerged as the preferred option among buses. For passenger vehicles, the Toyota Fortuner remained a top choice among consumers. 

Furthermore, the South African vehicle export market also suffered, with a 27.1% y/y decline to 24 161 units. According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), the export decline was attributed to a challenging business environment and weakened consumer demand, exacerbated by the Easter holidays resulting in fewer trading days. 

“Even the typically strong light-commercial vehicle segment saw a decline, with registrations dropping by 5.9% y/y to 14 626 units. The Toyota Hilux remained the top-selling bakkie line-up, with
3 104 units sold. Interestingly, the Nissan NP200 had a significant improvement in sales, securing the second position with 2 679 units sold, marking a 110% increase from the previous month. The Isuzu D-Max came in third with 2 095 units sold, including 542 purchased by the government,” SS noted about South African vehicle sales. 

2024-04-15  Staff Reporter

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