JOHANNESBURG – Although there are certain green shoots appearing in the South African vehicle market, the recovery looks set to be hampered by global stock shortages.
According to automotive retail giant Motus, new vehicle stock is still not freely available in South Africa and the premium segment remains tough, mainly due to stock mix.
“Consumers have an appetite for new vehicles, especially in the entry level, crossover and SUV segments and although we are seeing growth, we have not been able to convert all the interest into sales due to global new vehicle stock shortages,” said Motus Retail CEO Corné Venter.
Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa echoes these concerns, adding that structural constraints in the economy and growing debt are not helping the market.
“New vehicle sales in 2021 may be hampered by stock shortages of certain models in the coming months, caused by Covid-19 induced manufacturing supply chain disruptions, such as the current global shortage of semi-conductors, which are an important part of modern vehicles,” Mabasa said.
March 2021 saw some encouraging signs, with an overall increase of 18 percent over February.
The top selling passenger cars for the month were the Volkswagen Polo Vivo (1913 units), Volkswagen Polo (1831 units), Toyota Urban Cruiser (977 units), Toyota Fortuner (966 units) and Hyundai Venue (944 units).
It the bakkie market the Toyota Hilux who once again walked away as a clear leader, retailing 3943 units for the month, followed by the Ford Ranger (2416 units) Isuzu D-Max (1606 units) and Nissan NP200 (1443 units).
The top three segments in the passenger car market were the entry-level segment with 6641 units, crossovers with 5565 units and SUVs with 4292 units. The light commercial market was dominated by the one-tonne double cab segment with 5533 units, followed by the one-tonne single cab segment with 3877 units.
Although April sales are expected to be further subdued by the amount of public holidays, Venter says that the market is showing some encouraging signs.
“Demand most certainly outstrips new vehicle supply in the market as a result of component shortages and will continue to do so for a period of time. Given that Motus Importers have managed to secure new vehicle stock, our importer pipeline will enable us to soon normalise supply to the market,” he added.