These were South Africa’s best-selling cars in a depressed June

Affordability is the biggest factor choking sales, says WesBank

The new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado sold an impressive 694 units in its first month.
The new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado sold an impressive 694 units in its first month.
Image: Supplied

Toyota remained South Africa’s favourite brand in a month that saw new car sales continue their slowdown.

The brand recorded 9,743 new vehicle sales in June, ahead of Volkswagen, which was back in second place (5,514 sales) for the second consecutive month after being displaced by Suzuki for the first time in April. Suzuki was third last month on 4,297 sales ahead of Ford (2,404), Hyundai (2,367), Isuzu (2,157), Nissan (1,905), Chery (1,653), GWM (1,307) and BMW (1,104) rounding out the top 10.

The delayed announcement of the government of national unity cabinet impacted local business confidence and consumer decision-making regarding major purchases, a sentiment reflected in new vehicle sales declining last month by 14% to 40,072 units compared to June 2023. 

The light commercial vehicle segment was hit hardest, with sales down 24.3%, while passenger car sales were down 9%.

WesBank said affordability is the biggest factor limiting growth, a view supported by the TransUnion SA Vehicle Pricing Index which showed new vehicle prices rose 4.7% for the first quarter of 2024 compared to last year. The marginal increase in the average loan amount is evidence many households are opting for one multipurpose vehicle rather than maintaining many vehicles.

WesBank’s own data shows the average loan amount on a new vehicle increased 3.5% during June, the average deal duration increased 3.8% to over 51 months, and the average contract period over 73 months compared to a year ago.

“These are all signs of affordability challenges that either indicate consumers are holding onto their existing vehicles for longer or are forced to lower instalments by extending the loan period,” said Lebo Gaoaketse, head of marketing and communication at WesBank.

One primary factor impacting debt remains high interest rates, with relief only expected during the second half of the year.

“Consider June’s average loan value at WesBank of R410,000. Over 72 months at the prime lending rate (11.75%) the instalment is an estimated R8,054.83. An indebted customer who had financed the same value vehicle in 2020 linked to a prime rate of 7% would be paying R1,015.81 more per month today, which, at current interest rates, equates to about R75,730.32 more for the same car over the same contract period,” said Goaketse.

The VW Polo Vivo was the country's best selling passenger car in June.
The VW Polo Vivo was the country's best selling passenger car in June.
Image: Denis Droppa

The taxi market is slowly starting to recover as sales over the past few months dropped from about 1,400 per month to almost zero, said Brandon Cohen, chair of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA).

“This decline is due to banks being risk-averse in this sector. This cautious approach has extended across the industry, with approval rates remaining under pressure.”

The Toyota Hilux was again the country’s best-selling new vehicle last month, ahead of the VW Polo Vivo. The Ford Ranger was the second most popular bakkie with the Isuzu D-Max third. The Toyota Corolla Cross and Chery Tiggo 4 Pro were respectively the second and third best-selling passenger cars after the Polo Vivo.

A notable performer was the new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado which had a very strong first month on the market with 694 sales after its predecessor sold 48 units the month before.


  1. Toyota Hilux - 2,435
  2. VW Polo Vivo - 2,325
  3. Ford Ranger - 1,868
  4. Isuzu D-Max - 1,794
  5. Toyota Corolla Cross - 1,578
  6. Chery Tiggo 4 Pro - 1,172
  7. Toyota Starlet - 1,171
  8. Suzuki Swift - 1,073
  9. Toyota Fortuner - 972
  10. Hyundai Grand i10 - 948
  11. VW Polo - 902
  12. Nissan Magnite - 902
  13. Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up - 829
  14. Haval Jolion - 736
  15. Toyota Land Cruiser Prado - 694
  16. Suzuki Fronx - 620
  17. Kia Sonet - 561
  18. Toyota Vitz - 542
  19. Hyundai i20 - 529
  20. Nissan Navara - 505
  21. Nissan NP200 - 476
  22. Suzuki Baleno - 468
  23. Suzuki Ertiga - 458
  24. VW Polo Sedan - 391
  25. Toyota Hi-Ace - 381
  26. Toyota Urban Cruiser - 375
  27. Chery Tiggo 7 Pro - 352
  28. VW T-Cross - 349
  29. Renault Kiger - 348
  30. Toyota Rumion - 330


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