New vehicle sales released by the Department of Trade and Industry today show a marginal decline in sales of 158 units (0,3%) reported through the official channel over August 2012. Total vehicle sales for August as reported by the DTI were 56112 units. Of that total 38892 were passenger vehicles, 14376 light commercial vehicles and the balance of 2844 made up of medium and heavy commercial vehicles and buses.
General Motors South Africa had improved demand for vehicles across its range with the Chevrolet Spark, the only locally manufactured car in its class, achieving record sales of 1086 units as number six on the top-ten best sellers list for the month. The Chevrolet Utility was again the most popular seller in the sub-1 ton segment with 1485 sales while the new Isuzu KB continued to grow its presence in the market with 1439 sales. Likewise the Chevrolet Trailblazer drew a high level of interest in the SUV market with 271 sales for the month. Together these models contributed to GMSA’s total of 6029 units for the month and a market share of 10,7%.
“Vehicle sales reported for August reflect a softening of the market that has been expected and built into forecasting models for growth for the full year,” says Malcolm Gauld, GMSA’s Vice President Vehicle Sales, Service, and Marketing. “The motor industry has enjoyed a period of four years of sustained growth and remains on track for growth in the order of 5% for the year with a softening of the market over the last third of the year anticipated after a flying start to 2013. Current year-on-year growth is 5,9% which is still above the forecast for year-end and the overall outlook remains positive for a market of over 650000 vehicles for 2013.
“The impact of lower than expected economic growth together with the adverse impact of inflation fed by the reduced value of our currency has largely been offset up to now by aggressive marketing and the relatively low cost of vehicle finance. In the vehicle marketing mix the private buyer has provided significant support driving sales of passenger vehicles with demand for commercial vehicles trailing behind.
“August saw a reversal of that trend with passenger vehicle sales softening by 3,7% compared to August 2012 despite healthy rental sector orders while sales of light commercial vehicles improved by 5,3% for the same period. The medium commercial segment was 26,9% up on last year while the heavy and extra heavy vehicle markets were both up by 29% led by investment in construction and infrastructure projects.