Staff Reporter December 2017 was not a good month for new vehicle dealers. According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers in South Africa (Naamsa) sales of new vehicles for December 2017 declined by 1008 vehicles, or 2.4 percent. Only 40,636 new vehicles were sold in December 2017 compared to the sale of 41,644 new vehicles sold in December 2016. Naamsa represents the vehicle dealership franchise from South Africa in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho. “The December 2017 new passenger car market and light commercial vehicle market reflected a year-on-year volume decline of 6.4 percent in the case of cars and a noteworthy improvement in the case of light commercial vehicles of 7.0 percent. Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles were essentially unchanged year on year,” Naamsa said in a statement. Export sales from South Africa to other markets, excluding sales to the Southern African Customs Union member states, recorded a decline in December 2017 and at 17,374 units reflected a fall of 1,333 vehicles or 7.1 percent compared to the 18,707 vehicles exported during December 2016. “This was largely attributable to the effect of model run-out and new model introduction of the new VW Polo range in 2018,” the association said. Nevertheless, the overall sales for 207 recorded a year-on-year improvement, albeit at a modest 1.8 percent in volume terms, the first in four years. Naamsa says the improvement is due to modest gains in new car and light commercial vehicle sales, and was encouraging given subdued economic growth, pressure on consumers’ disposable income and low levels of consumer and business confidence. The marginal decline in interest rates in July, 2017 had a positive effect. In the event, aggregate sales during 2017 rose by 10,039 units or 1.8 percent to 557,586 unit sales compared to the annual sales total of 547,547 in 2016. Major contributory factors to the improved new car and light commercial vehicle sales were the continued strong contribution by the car rental sector, which accounted for an estimated 16 percent of new car sales during the year, as well as unprecedented sales incentives by manufacturers and importers, particularly during the second half of 2017.
2018-01-11 09:31:01 8 months ago