New-vehicle sales inch up 0.5% in 2023, exports at record levels 

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Two of out of three vehicles produced in South Africa are now exported

9th January 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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New-vehicle sales in the domestic market inched up by 0.5% in 2023 compared with 2022, says Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council.

This follows a 13.9% jump in 2022 and 22.2% growth in 2021.

The 2023 sales number of 532 098 units still sits below 2019’s prepandemic level of 536 612 units.

Naamsa says the 2023 new-vehicle market was undermined by a depressed economy, elevated cost-of-living increases, loadshedding and power outages, as well as “major logistical challenges” at the country’s ports, especially towards year-end.

When looking at the various segments, new-passenger-vehicle sales dropped by 4.4% in 2023, to 347 695 units.

Sales of bakkies, vans and minibuses, however, surged ahead by 11.6%, to 151 499 units.

Sales of medium commercial vehicles declined by 0.6%, to 8 258 units, compared with last year.

Sales in the heavy truck and bus segment jumped by 12.8%, to 24 646 units.

Naamsa says sales in this sector were heavily supported by goods transport increasingly moving to roads owing to growing inefficiency in South Africa’s rail system.

New-vehicle exports from the country last year reached a record 396 290 units, showing a gain of 12.7% over 2022 numbers.

This exceeded the previous record of 387 092 units set in 2019.

Two of out of three vehicles produced in South Africa are now exported.

Looking ahead, Naamsa believes that the expectation of 1% growth in the domestic economy in 2024 could see a 5% improvement in local new-vehicle sales in the year ahead.

Vehicle export momentum is anticipated to remain upward for the year ahead, despite numerous global challenges, such as the Gaza conflict, adds the council.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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