Car sales: These were SA’s top 30 performers in September

The Toyota Hilux sold 3,249 units in September to make it Mzansi’s best seller.
The Toyota Hilux sold 3,249 units in September to make it Mzansi’s best seller.
Image: Supplied

In September new-vehicle sales declined for the second consecutive month year on year, with the 46,021 units registering a drop of 4.1% compared with September 2022.

Uncertainty seems to be getting the better of South African consumers, with last month’s sales showing the biggest decline year on year since December 2021, says WesBank.

“However, comparisons remain theoretical given the market’s prolonged recovery from the pandemic and a broader context and assessment is necessary for a more realistic view of activity and sentiment,” said Lebo Gaoaketse, head of marketing and communication at WesBank.

“While the cold data shows two months of negative growth, a market of 46,000 units is in line with volumes during 2019. This indicates a continued resilience and sustained slow recovery as experienced and predicted in the aftermath of the pandemic. While there is no doubt that the market has major headwinds to overcome, new vehicle sales continue to defy the odds.”

Passenger cars continued to lose market share with September sales in the segment down 8.4% to 29,669 units compared with the same month last year, while light commercial vehicles were up 4.6% to 13,169 sales.

“The reprieve in September from further interest rate hikes will be welcomed in constrained household budgets,” said Gaoaketse. “But other economic pressures from fuel prices, inflation, restricted income growth, and the energy crisis will continue to play on consumer and business confidence and sentiment to make new vehicle purchase decisions.”

Brandon Cohen, chair Of the National Automobile Dealers' Association (Nada), said many consumers are adopting a wait-and-see approach when making their purchasing decisions. This caution is driven by the rising cost of living, which is putting pressure on private buyers' finances, and the economic slowdown, which is dissuading businesses from replacing their vehicle fleets

“Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), distributors, and importers have begun offering a wide range of incentives and discounts on vehicles, from luxury to budget cars. Banks are also introducing innovative finance schemes to stimulate buying activity. The market currently offers favourable opportunities for buyers seeking a good deal,” said Cohen.

As per the recent trend, the most popular segments last month were bakkies, small hatchbacks and compact crossovers.

The Hilux retained its spot as the country’s best-selling vehicle overall with the Polo Vivo the top-selling passenger car. Other top-ten performers which ensured Toyota remained South Africa’s most popular brand were the Corolla Cross and Starlet, with the evergreen Fortuner the best selling large SUV.

New-vehicle sales September 2023 — top 30

1 Toyota Hilux — 3,249

2 VW Polo Vivo — 2,698

3 Ford Ranger — 2,413

4 Toyota Corolla Cross — 2,259

5 Isuzu D-Max — 1,639

6 Toyota Hi-Ace — 1,421

7 Suzuki Swift — 1,291

8 Toyota Starlet — 1,247

9 VW Polo — 1,148

10 Nissan NP200 — 997

11 Hyundai Grand i10 — 898

12 Toyota Fortuner — 893

13 Chery Tiggo 4 Pro — 858

14 Nissan Magnite — 797

15 Kia Sonet — 743

16 Hyundai Venue — 699

17 Renault Kiger — 675

18 Haval Jolion — 626

19 Toyota Corolla Quest — 598

20 Toyota Vitz — 581

21 Renault Kwid — 580

22 Mahindra Scorpio Pik Up — 578

23 Toyota Urban Cruiser — 561

24 Suzuki Fronx — 527

25 VW T-Cross — 480

26 Haval H6 — 453

27 Suzuki Ertiga — 443

28 Toyota Rumion — 426

29 Suzuki S-Presso — 420

30 Suzuki Baleno — 409


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