Total South African new-vehicle sales declined by 25.4% in October, to 38 752 units, compared with the 51 968 vehicles sold in the same month last year.
The new-passenger-car market also fell by 25.4%, to 26 793 units.
Some good news is that the car rental industry accounted for “an encouraging” 12.8% of passenger car sales in October, says National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) CEO Mikel Mabasa.
Domestic sales of new vans, bakkies and minibuses declined by 27.8% in October, to 9 644 units.
Medium truck sales, at 662 units, were down 21.2%, compared with October last year, while the heavy truck and bus market declined by 11.5%, to 1 653 units.
October new-vehicle export sales, at 33 474 units, fell by 18.9%.
For the year to date vehicle exports from South Africa have now fallen by 35.3%, or 119 803 vehicles.
“Vehicle export numbers are gradually regaining momentum, but in terms of a recovery much will depend on an improvement in the economic climate of the South African automotive industry’s main trading partners,” says Mabasa.
“A second wave of Covid-19 infections in Europe, accounting for three out of every four vehicle exports at present, poses significant downside risks on the pace of recovery in domestic vehicle exports over the short to medium term.”
Year-to-date domestic new-vehicle sales numbers are down 32.5% compared with the same period last year.
LCV Supply Problems
“Major supply issues” across major light commercial cehicle (LCV) brands owing to Covid-19 restrictions, coupled with the run-out of certain key models, resulted in a 22.6% drop in LCV sales through dealers in October, reports the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA).
“Demand seems to be outstripping certain supply lines on LCVs, and while this is not an ideal situation, it could be worse if things were the other way around,” says NADA chairperson Mark Dommisse.
“Dealers are enjoying strong demand for used vehicles. However, getting sufficient quality pre-owned stock is problematic,” he adds.
“This situation has been exacerbated by the limited flow of decent stock coming from the rental companies, who destocked earlier in the year when demand for hire cars fell drastically, resulting in significant downsizing of these businesses.”