File photo: BLOOMBERG/COLE BURSTON
File photo: BLOOMBERG/COLE BURSTON

New-vehicle sales continued to lose ground in June, falling 1.6% compared to a year earlier, from 46,663 to 45,938.

As a result, sales for the first half of 2019 were 3.7% weaker than during the same 2018 period — down from 267,410 to 257,610.

Most categories of commercial vehicles lost a little ground in the first half, though medium trucks enjoyed a welcome 12.5% boost.

Cars, as usual, were the main contributor to the overall market’s decline. In June, sales were 3.2% weaker than a year earlier — 28,885 compared to 29,827. For the first six months of the year, the deficit from 2018 was 5.0%, slipping from 176,273 to 167,491.

Equally predictably, exports were the local motor industry’s saving grace. In June, they improved 14.3% from 26,785 to 30,604. For the first half of 2019, they were up an encouraging 19.3% — from 152,839 to 182,298.​ 

furlongerd@businesslive.co.za