The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) says new car and commercial vehicle sales for the month had registered modest gains compared to the corresponding month last year. It said aggregate industry sales had improved by 3 159 units or 6.4 per cent to 52 356 vehicles from 49 197 units in February last year.
It said, for the time being, that Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) would provide a single total sales number for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and export sales. Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported industry sales of 49 556 vehicles (excluding MBSA), 82.2 per cent or 40 761 units represented dealer sales, 7.6 per cent represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 5.8 per cent sales were to Government and 4.4 per cent were to industry corporate fleet sales.
Aggregate Industry new car sales during February 2012 at 36 357 units (including MBSA) reflected an improvement of 2 303 units or 6.8 per cent compared to the 34 054 new cars sold during February 2011. The new car market had received support from car rental Industry demand which accounted for about 10.5 per cent of total new car sales.
The absence of MBSA commercial vehicle sales data by segment rendered year on year comparisons difficult. The focus therefore, for the time being, would be on total commercial vehicle sales. In the event, industry total commercial vehicle sales during February, 2012 at 15 999 units showed an improvement of 856 units or 5.7 per cent compared to the 15 143 units of the corresponding month last year.
Exports of South African produced motor vehicles, including MBSA export sales data, during February, 2012 at 22 630 vehicles had registered a decline of 2 525 units or 10.0 per cent compared to the 25 155 vehicles during February last year. Industry export sales were expected to improve from April, 2012 onwards as the Ford global compact vehicle export programme and the BMW new 3 series export volumes were ramped up. However, the Industry’s export performance during 2012 would remain a function of the direction of the global economy.
Vehicle exports into Europe were likely to soften as a result of the recession and debt crisis in the Eurozone. This could be offset by higher export volumes to African countries. At this stage, it was anticipated that for the year as a whole vehicle exports could grow by about 10 per cent to just over 300 000 units.
The outlook for 2012 in terms of total industry sales remained one of modest growth. Factors that would continue to lend support to the domestic market included the ongoing improvement in the financial position of consumers, relatively low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms, the highly competitive trading environment and new model introductions. As a result, domestic sales were expected to continue to reflect growth, but at a relatively subdued rate. The sharp rise in the purchasing manager’s index over the past two months also augured well for future economic activity levels.
NAAMSA welcomes the decision by Associated Motor Holdings and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors to disclose historical detailed new vehicle sales volumes. Disaggregated sales data for the years 2006 through 2009 have been uploaded in the database administered by Messrs RGT Smart. The 2010 AMH sales volumes will be made available in the near future. The data covers the following brands – Daihatsu, Hyundai, Kia, Lamborghini, Proton and Ssangyong.