Pre-emptive purchases of new vehicles in March to beat the April 1 increase in value-added tax (VAT) and vehicle ad valorem duties would not influence the market and would inevitably be followed by a market “correction”, says WesBank sales and marketing head Ghana Msibi. But he said growing demand from private consumers, encouraged by price restraint and lower interest rates, would allow the full-year market to show a slight hike over 2017. This week’s VAT increase from 14% to 15% and the imposition of a 5% duty on imported luxury vehicles persuaded some consumers and fleet owners to buy early and avoid the extra costs. The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said this was a significant contributor to the new-vehicle market growing by 1.1% in March from a year earlier, from 48,698 to 49,233. It was the first rise in 2018, after declines in January and February. The association said the market for 2018 could grow by up to 3% from 2017’s 557,586 vehicles so...

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