Annual new-car sales down 9.5%

New-car prices have risen by a compound 17% since the start of 2015 and even if they stay static for the foreseeable future, it will take up to three years for consumers’ salaries to catch up and close the affordability gap, WesBank analyst Rudolf Mahoney said on Tuesday.

He was speaking after the latest motor industry figures confirmed there was no end in sight to the slump in new-vehicle sales.

The industry sold 48,745 vehicles into the local market in October, 10.1% fewer than the 54,239 in October 2015. Car sales were down 9.5%, from 36,176 to 32,738.

New-car sales for the first 10 months of the year were down 12.1%, from 346,647 to 304,647, and all vehicles by 11.2%, from 517,152 to 459,486.

“Sadly, it looks as if our forecast at the start of the year, that the new-vehicle market would shrink by 12%, will be almost spot-on,” said Mahoney.

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