New vehicle sales in July remained buoyant despite rising interest rates and fuel prices, and an ongoing shortage of stock due to chip shortages and logistical challenges.
The 43,593 units sold last month reflected an increase of 30.9% over July last year, though the market’s performance was distorted by the riots and the cyberattack on Transnet’s operations during July 2021.
Passenger cars sold 31,455 units last month for a gain of 50.2% compared to the same month last year, while light commercial vehicles (including bakkies and minibuses) dropped 6.9% to 9,547 units, according to Naamsa.
Export sales saw a healthy 177.7% increase to 31,242 units in July 2022 compared to July 2021.
On a year-to-date basis the local market, with 297,133 units sold in the first seven months, is 13.9% ahead of last year.
Mark Dommisse, chair of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada), said there is an expected improvement with supply rates of new vehicles, but that the remainder of 2022 will be tough economically.
After the recent interest rate increase of 75 basis points, further increases are expected for the balance of the year that would affect consumer and business sentiment negatively, and consequently the new vehicle market, said Naamsa’s Mikel Mabasa.
Dommisse noted that the used vehicle market, which has been booming, is experiencing a slowdown due to increased financial burdens taking their toll on the consumer in the face of economic pressures.
Toyota remained SA’s new vehicle market leader last month despite its flood-damaged Prospecton factory near Durban being closed for repairs. Buoyed by strong sales of imported cars such as the Urban Cruiser and Starlet, Toyota sold 7,110 units in July. In second place was Volkswagen with 6,204 sales ahead of Suzuki Auto (4,734), Hyundai (2,965), Nissan (2,625), Renault (2,552), Ford (2,473), Kia (2,087), Isuzu (1,951), BMW (1,512), Haval (1,502), Mahindra (1,327), Chery (1,262), Stellantis (904), and Mercedes-Benz (902) rounding out the top 15.