Digital automotive marketplace AutoTrader says it has seen a sharp uptick in the searches for delivery vans as South Africa entered Alert Level 4 of the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“We have observed that, since the commencement of Level 4 lockdown, South African search patterns on AutoTrader have changed to suit the economic opportunities,” says CEO George Mienie.
He says there has been a sharp increase in searches for both small and big vans at the end of April and the beginning of May.
“From January 1 to April 28, van searches were on a downward trend.
“However, following the announcement of the guidelines for Level 4, which include activity such as food delivery, by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on April 29, searches for these vehicles have more than doubled.”
He believes that this is an indication of South Africans showing their ability to “make a plan” – under even the most arduous of conditions.
“They have clearly seen a business opportunity – hence their desire to purchase a van at this specific time. I believe that more and more small to medium-sized enterprises will enter this sector as demand rises – for example, local restaurants offering food delivery for heat-at-home meals,” says Mienie.
The Volkswagen Caddy is currently both the most-searched-for on AutoTrader and also the most sold smallvan. It attracts a premium price (R46 085 more) versus the second most-searched-for and sold – the Toyota Avanza panel van.
While Toyota is in second place when it comes to small vans, it dominates the large van category, where the Quantum is both the most-searched-for and also the most sold large van.
It is interesting to note that there are 4.3 times more searches for the Quantum than for its second-place rival, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, says Mienie.
There are also 8.3 times more sales of the Quantum.
“These figures underscore the popularity of the Quantum, which is an iconic vehicle in this country,” notes Mienie.