After six successive months of year-on-year growth, the motor industry is confidently forecasting that full-year, new-vehicle sales for 2017 will improve by 2% compared to 2016.Figures from the Department of Trade and Industry show that sales totaled 49,754 last month — a 7.2% improvement on the November 2016 total of 46,397. Car sales accelerated by 16.4%, from 28,207 to 32,821.Commercial vehicles, though, took a battering: light commercials were down 7.4%, mediums 20.1%, and heavies by a figure thought to be close to 10%. The continued refusal by Mercedes-Benz SA, a leader in this segment, to reveal sectoral sales, makes an exact calculation impossible.There was more misery for the motor industry’s export ambitions. Shipments of 27,178 in November were 13.7% down on a year earlier; the deficit for the first 11 months was 4.4%. Talk of an all-time record export year has been silenced.Last month’s exports were undermined by continued supply problems at Toyota SA, whose Durban factor...

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