Rising car prices and interest rates failed to put the brakes on consumer demand in September, with new-vehicle sales up 10.8% on the same month last year.
Amid the despondency about load-shedding and other weakening economic indicators, the new-vehicle market continued to reflect a healthy performance but the pace of recovery has started to slow down, said motor industry body Naamsa.
There were 47,786 new vehicles sold in SA last month, an increase of 4,639 units over September 2021, while export sales recorded a 104.6% increase to 41,474 units.
The local passenger car market, at 32,392 units, registered a 9.7% gain over September 2021, while light commercials (bakkies and mini-buses) rose 14.9% to 12,573 units.
“The new vehicle market’s resilient performance continued during the month but at a slower pace, as along with the sixth consecutive increase in interest rates since November 2021, September 2022 was by far the worst month of the year in terms of the cumulative amount of load-shedding,” said Mikel Mabasa, CEO of Naamsa.
He said the new vehicle market’s performance for the year-to-date is still 13.4% ahead compared to the corresponding period last year but the pace of growth being experienced in the market is expected to slow for the balance of the year.
With its Durban car factory back up to near full production after being closed for four months due to flooding, Toyota grew its market leadership in September and posted 12,059 sales, nearly double the 6,750 units of its nearest competitor, Volkswagen.
Suzuki was the third most popular brand with 4,355 sales, ahead of Hyundai (3,146), Nissan (2,649), Renault (2,601), Isuzu (2,287), Ford (2,212), Kia (2,086), Chery (1,352), BMW (1,095), Haval (1,066), Mahindra (1,030), Mercedes-Benz (852) and Stellantis (597).