Home arrow Business & Economy arrow New vehicle sales soar in January

New vehicle sales soar in January

Tuesday, 05 February 2013

New vehicle sales registered substantial gains in the first month of the year, growing by 14.1% compared to the 48,202 vehicles sold in January last year, said the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). This followed on the positive sales performance seen throughout 2012.

On Monday, Naamsa said that all major segments recorded double digit year-on-year growth, with new cars growing by 12.3%; light commercials by 20%; medium commercials by 10.6%; heavy trucks by 30% and extra heavy trucks growing by 16.6%.

Export sales in January (at 17,399 vehicles) reflected an improvement of 5,794 vehicles or a gain of 49.9% compared to the 11,605 vehicles exported in January 2012.

The association noted that continued strong demand by the car rental industry accounted for 22.5% of total new car sales during the month. This supported the market in January 2013.

Recent exchange rate weakness would have contributed to pre-emptive buying by consumers to avoid higher than expected new vehicle prices,” it said.

Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported industry sales of 52 775 vehicles (excluding Mercedes-Benz South Africa), 76.9% or 40,568 units represented dealer sales, 16.7% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.2% to government and 3.2% to industry corporate fleets.

The momentum of vehicle exports was expected to improve further over the balance of the year and particularly exports of light commercial vehicles should increase substantially during 2013.

The association noted that despite indications of slower growth in the economy, the performance of the South African automotive sector continued to surprise on the upside, with the overall near term outlook for the automotive sector remaining reasonably positive.

“Factors that would continue to support domestic sales included the low interest rate environment, replacement demand, the highly competitive trading environment with attractive incentives, low debt servicing costs, high technology new model introductions and strong demand by car rental companies,” Naamsa said.

However, on the negative side, rising inflationary pressures would limit growth in real disposable income which, together with generally anticipated rising new vehicle prices as a result of the weaker exchange rate, could result in some moderation in the rate of growth in sales over the balance of the year.

“Industry production, largely as a result of higher new vehicle exports, should however register encouraging growth in 2013,” said Naamsa.

SA - the Good News via SANews.gov.za


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