Prospects for vehicle exports and sales brighten

Promising Start: While South African vehicle sales were down, there is optimism for the year
Promising Start: While South African vehicle sales were down, there is optimism for the year

The year’s vehicle sales got were to a good start last month – but there was a mixed bag of results for Eastern Cape manufacturers.

Figures released yesterday showed exports were 16 708 units – a gain of 20.7% compared to the 13 845 in January last year.

Volkswagen Group South Africa’s exports climbed to 4 420 last month – more than any other vehicle maker in the country – as well as far exceeding its export sales figures of 2 925 in December and 2 953 in January last year.

But other Eastern Cape vehicle manufacturers showed a drop in export sales with East London’s Mercedes-Benz’s aggregated sales dropping from 7 086 in December 2014 to 2 479 last month.

MBSA chief executive Arno van der Merwe says the East London plant is part of a highly flexible production network for the highest volume Mercedes, the C-Class.

“Due to the flexible nature of the network as well as export logistics on when containers are shipped, export numbers may vary from time to time, but the production of the C-Class is on track as planned to reach our targets for export delivery for the full year,” Van der Merwe said.

– Cindy Preller 

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