These were South Africa's top-selling car brands as sales dip in January

Passenger car sales took a big hit while bakkies were slightly up

It was the sixth consecutive month of declining car sales. File photo.
It was the sixth consecutive month of declining car sales. File photo.
Image: Dall-E 3

New vehicle sales in South Africa started the year badly with the 41,636 units reflecting a decrease of 3.8% from the 43,294 vehicles sold in January 2023.

It is the sixth consecutive month of declining sales and motor industry body Naamsa attributed it to the lingering effects of cost of living increases and dampened consumer and business confidence, combined with the country’s port challenges and persistent load-shedding.

Passenger car sales of 28,790 units dropped 6.7% last month from 30,863 in January 2023, said Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa. Sales of light commercials, including bakkies and minibuses, improved 2.3% to 10,871 units.

Mabasa said a start of an interest rate cutting cycle, likely to begin during the second half of the year but preferably earlier, accompanied by easing core and food inflation and improvements in the country’s energy and logistics infrastructure, could provide relief for consumers and subsequently stir up momentum in the new vehicle market.

“Encouragingly, the Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) relating to expected business conditions in six months’ time, despite the economic woes, rose as respondents’ expectations turned more optimistic relative to conditions now,” he said.

Naamsa is looking forward to the new energy vehicle regulatory framework details to be announced in the 2024 budget on February 21 by the minister of finance, believing it would provide a much needed injection of confidence for the South African automotive industry to accelerate its transition to electric vehicles and associated components production and stimulating demand for the new technology vehicles.

Toyota retained its position as the most popular new vehicle brand in January ahead of Volkswagen and Suzuki.

Top 15 selling car brands in January 2024:

  1. Toyota — 10,855
  2. Volkswagen — 5,522
  3. Suzuki — 5,235
  4. Ford — 2,420
  5. Nissan — 2,315
  6. Hyundai — 2,185
  7. Isuzu — 1,610
  8. Haval — 1,463
  9. Chery — 1,425
  10. Renault — 1,411
  11. Kia — 1,344
  12. Mahindra — 878
  13. BMW — 821
  14. Mercedes-Benz — 505
  15. Stellantis — 423



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