The bottom fell out of the new-car market in February when sales plunged 13.3% from a year earlier. Figures released on Friday show that South Africans bought 27,000 cars last month, compared with 31,139 in February 2018. Two months into 2019, the aggregate market year was 56,015 — down 12.1% from 63,691. WesBank motor executive Ghana Msibi suggested the motor industry is suffering collateral damage from the ongoing Eskom fallout. “The market was no doubt rattled by the week-long impact of load-shedding at the beginning of the month, that impacted consumer and business confidence,” he said. There was better news in other areas of the new-vehicle market. Sales of light commercial vehicles, mainly bakkies, improved 7.1% year-on-year in February, from 13,191 to 14,123. The medium and extra-heavy truck segments also grew. The overall result was a 6.5% drop in sales of all new vehicles, from 46,267 to 43,251. Compared with the first two months of 2018, the market was 7% weaker — 85,606 a...

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