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JOHANNESBURG – Following a bleak July that was marred by the civil unrest in KZN and Gauteng, South African vehicle sales saw some encouraging growth in August.
According to Naamsa, 41 425 vehicles were sold last month, which represents a 24.6% improvement over the same month last year. It was the passenger car market that led the way here with an impressive 40% year-on-year gain, partly thanks to a resurgence in rental industry sales.
Light commercial vehicles and bakkies trailed with 3.6% growth versus August last year. The medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments, on the other hand, saw respective declines of 7.2% and 0.4%.
Month-on-month, passenger vehicle sales grew by 31.9% while the LCVs gained 14.4% versus the previous month.
While year-to-date vehicle exports are up 37.7%, August saw a 15.6% decline, thanks to knock-on effects of July’s civil unrest and the cyberattack on Transnet.
Sales by vehicle brand
Toyota – 10 543
Volkswagen – 6930
Nissan – 3332
Hyundai – 2749
Suzuki – 2470
Ford – 2201
Renault – 2010
Haval – 1885
Kia – 1703
Isuzu – 1599
BMW – 1020
Mazda – 728
Mercedes-Benz – 631
Mahindra – 501
Stellantis – 452
What the experts said
Automotive Business Council (Naamsa): “Although the knock-on effects of the economic disruptions caused by the civil unrest in July 2021 and the
cyberattack on Transnet operations negatively impacted on the industry’s export performance during the
month, the domestic automotive industry will continue to benefit from the strong rebound in global economic
activity in 2021 and the favourable conditions abroad.”
National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA): “This was an outstanding performance as the economy is still recovering from the effects of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, as well as the substantial disruptions at the ports as a result of the unrest, coupled to the cyber-attack on Transnet operations.
“There are other forces at play too, with supply being the major one. The global shortage of semiconductors continues to play havoc with production and is causing many factories to be idled. This shortage is likened to the Covid-19 pandemic, in that it will not go away. In fact, the problem seems to be getting more serious as time goes by with manufacturers either pausing production or deleting chip-specific functionality from certain model lines.” – Mark Dommisse
Wesbank: “WesBank shares the confidence expressed by motor industry CEOs during the first half of the year in a survey conducted by naamsa. We have consistently held the optimistic view of recovery for the industry during 2021, with various signs showing growing confidence from both consumers and business
“To have this environment amplified by industry confidence will help to continue to build momentum in the market’s recovery, preserving jobs and fulfilling demand.” – Lebogang Gaoaketse.