South African new vehicle sales continued their consistent slide downward as the first quarter drew to a close, with March sales 3.1% down year-on-year according to the National Automobile Association of South Africa (Naamsa).
The weakening rand and overall shadow of possible ratings agency downgrades didn’t help March new vehicle sales as consumer and business confidence continued to come under pressure, said WesBank executive head of motor, Ghana Msibi.
He warned that additional fuel price increases in April will continue to contribute to this burden, as will the continued impact and threat of load shedding.
“Household budgets also continue to take strain as a result, directly impacting demand for new vehicles as motorists continue to hold onto their vehicles for longer,” Msibi said.
“At least interest rates remained unchanged, providing some small form of relief for consumers.”
WesBank data showed that passenger car sales declined 5.6% to 30,348 cars. Consumer demand across the board was down once again as evidenced by sales through the dealer channel (down 8.7% in for passenger cars and LCVs down 3%) and an on-going shift from new to used.
“The market will remain under pressure during April, which will be impacted by public holidays and resultant fewer selling days, as well as a wait-and-see mentality heading up to elections in May,” continued Msibi.
Below are the best-selling cars and bakkies according to Naamsa’s March 2019 data, and how much they cost.
Volkswagen Polo Vivo – from R191,400
Volkswagen Polo – from R216,300
Renault Kwid – from R132,500
Toyota Corolla Sedan – from R280,100
Hyundai Grand i10 – from R167,900
Toyota Fortuner – from R477,600
Ford EcoSport – from R254,950
Toyota Etios – from R179,500
Ford Figo – from R182,900
Toyota RAV4 – from R416,400
Toyota Hilux – from R428,000
Isuzu KB/D-Max – from R249,900
Mahindra Pik-Up – from R199,999
GWM Steed – from R159,900