South Africa’s new-vehicle market should reach roughly 550 000 units this year, 0.4% down from last year’s 552 226 units, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Andrew Kirby.
He says TSAM expects the first half of 2019 to be tough, especially with elections looming in May.
It’s bad news all round as TSAM’s forecast for the 2019 market is for new-car sales to be down 0.4%, to 363 850 units, with light commercial vehicles to decline by a similar percentage, to 158 890 units.
The medium truck market is expected to contract by 1.4%, to 7 800 units, and the heavy truck market by 1.7%, to 5 300 units.
The extra-heavy truck market is anticipated to shrink by 0.4%, to 13 100 units.
The bus market is expected to decline by 0.9%, to 1 060 units.
Looking at sales over the last five years, Kirby says dealer sales in South Africa remained at 85% of sales from 2014 to 2018, with rental sales increasing from 11% of the market in 2014, to 12% in 2018, and government sales declining from 4% in 2014, to 3% in 2018.
Also interesting is that the small car segment of the market has shown a drop from a 32% share in 2014, to 31% in 2018, while sports-utility vehicles have surged from 15% to 20%.
One-ton double cab bakkies have also grown, increasing their share of the market from 7% in 2014, to 10% in 2018.
The premium market contracted from a 10% share of the market in 2014, to a 6% share in 2018.
Hybrid and electric vehicle are also showing a rapid decline, with hybrid sales reaching 646 units in 2014, but shrinking to 135 units in 2018.
Electric vehicles fared equally poorly, declining from 117 units in 2015, to 66 units in 2018.
Another significant trend is that automatics are rapidly gaining ground in the local market, says Kirby, growing a 25% share of the market in 2014, to 37% in 2018 – a 48% increase.
In terms of commercial vehicles, medium truck sales made up 35% of the local truck market in 2014, but have since declined to 29% in 2018.
Heavy trucks increased their share from 17% to 20% over the same period, while extra-heavy trucks expanded from a 44% share of the market in 2014, to 48% in 2018.
Kirby says Toyota has managed to increase its market share from 19.8% in 2014, to 24.2% in 2018 – meaning one in every four vehicles sold in South Africa is a Toyota.