More bad news than good for auto industry in Q1

9th June 2023 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

WHILE the first quarter of the year saw new-vehicle sales inch up from the same time last year, domestic vehicle production, exports and employment all moved into negative territory.

This is according to the first- quarter business review of the automotive industry, published by Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council.

The report notes that first-quarter new-vehicle sales inched up 1.6% over the same quarter in 2022. However, passenger-car sales were down, as were heavy-truck sales.

Some good news is that hybrid and electric vehicle sales increased by 18.8% in the first quarter, up from 1 401 units in the first quarter of 2022, to 1 665 units in the first quarter of this year.

The first quarter also saw new-vehicle exports decline by 4%, to 84 811 units, compared with the 88 363 units exported in the same quarter last year.

Domestic vehicle production also dropped by 1.1%, compared with the corresponding quarter last year.

Naamsa reports that employment at vehicle manufacturers declined by 85 jobs, to 33 392, compared with employment numbers at the end of 2022.

Employment at vehicle importers also saw a decline of 208 jobs, to 7 402, compared with the end of last year.