New-vehicle sales fell by 13.3% in February, to 37 521 units, compared with the same month last year, reports Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council.
An estimated 31 635 units, or 84.3%, were dealer sales, with 10% going to the vehicle rental industry, 3.4% to government, and 2.3% of total sales to industry corporate fleets.
New passenger-car sales declined by 18.1%, to 24 270 units.
The car rental industry accounted for 14.4% of new-car sales in February.
Sales of bakkies, vans and taxis saw a decline of 3.2%, to 11 246 units.
Medium-truck sales dropped by 14.8%, to 560 units, with heavy-truck and bus sales increasing by 3.1%, to 1 445 units.
New-vehicle exports declined by 8%, to 29 582 units.
“Vehicle sales in February were more encouraging than we had expected for a shorter trading month than January,” says National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) chairperson Mark Dommisse.
“Overall dealer sales across all segments increased by almost 3 000 units month-on-month.”
“Unfortunately, consumers have been hit with a double whammy in the past week, with the announcement of an upcoming electricity hike of 15.6% in April and another big increase in the price of fuel,” adds Dommisse.
“These are expected to have a negative effect on the market going forward. Some new vehicle dealers are also experiencing a tough time with stock shortages on certain models.”
Dommisse says the current supply shortage is owing to a global shortage of semiconductors, also known as computer chips, which are increasingly used in modern vehicles.
“Chips are not only used extensively in the automotive industry, but in smartphones and gaming consoles as well.
“Orders for chips were reduced due to the pandemic and now the chip manufacturers are unable to catch up on the backlog, as demand far outstrips supply.
“Some forecasters see the global automotive industry losing up to a million vehicles and huge amounts of money this year as production is reduced.
“We expect this situation to last as long as four months,” says Dommisse.