National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) says the latest vehicle sales and export numbers had been in line with general industry expectation.
Releasing statistics on the new vehicle sales for April 2018, NAAMSA said despite public holidays at the end of April, followed by industrial action and the delay of a report by one manufacturer – both domestic and export markets have improved in April compared to the same period last year.
In a statement released on Wednesday, NAAMSA said there were 36 346 units of new vehicle sales up compared to 35 086 sold in the same period last year.
“Of the total 1 260 [3, 6%] improvement in April. The domestic vehicles sales will increase by about 350 units once the delayed sales report by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles South Africa made available by around mid-May 2018,” said NAAMSA.
A total 24 422 aggregate vehicles sales exported in April reflected 193 units or a gain of 0, 8% compared to the 24 229 vehicles exported in the same period last year.
“Overall, out of the total reported Industry sales of 36 346 vehicles, about 31 476 units or 86,6% represented dealer sales, an estimated 7,0% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 5,1% to industry corporate fleets and 1,3% to government,” said NAAMSA.
NAAMSA said the April 2018 new car market at 23 928 units had registered 1 438 cars or a gain of 6, 4% compared to the 22 490 new cars sold in April last year.
“Seasonal factors had affected the car rental industry contribution but had still accounted for about 8, 6% of new car sales in April.”
The manufacturing Industry said domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses had been weaker.
“Having sold 10 580 units during April, these categories had registered a fall of 127 vehicles or a decline of 1, 2% compared to the 10 707 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.”
In the low volume medium and heavy truck segments the industry has reflected a mixed picture but had again remained under pressure at 493 and 345 units sold recorded a fall of 68 vehicles or a decline of 12, 1%.
With medium commercial vehicles and, with heavy trucks and buses, there was a modest improvement of 17 vehicles or a gain of 1, 3% compared to the corresponding month last year.
NAAMSA is expecting new vehicle sales to show a steady improvement over the medium term due to further recovery in domestic demand.
This will be possible due to moderation in the new vehicle price inflation, rising real disposable consumer income, the recent improvement in South Africa’s political and policy environment, lower interest rates and the maintenance of an investment grade rating with a stable outlook by a major credit rating agency.
As a result of these developments – reinforced by improved business and consumer confidence, as well as increases in the Reserve Bank, leading indicator – economic growth for 2018, could recover to around 2% and this, in turn, would benefit domestic new vehicle sales over the balance of the year and an annual improvement of domestic sales volumes of 3% plus compared to 2017 was expected.
Robust global growth should benefit new vehicle exports going forward.
NAAMSA said exports were expected to show substantial upward momentum in the months ahead.