Surge in year-end vehicle sales cannot reverse decline
New-vehicle sales enjoyed a year-end surge in December, but not enough to undo earlier damage caused by months of decline.
Sales of all new vehicles, from cars to extra-heavy trucks, totalled 41,698 in December — 4.2% better than December 2018. Cars performed particularly well. December was 9.1% better than the 26,547 of a year earlier.
For 2019 as a whole, however, the overall market was 2.8% weaker — down to 536,626. Car sales fell 2.7% to 355,384. Medium- and extra-heavy commercial vehicles both performed better in 2019 than 2018 but heavy trucks and light commercials, mainly bakkies, were both down.
Exports suffered a disappointing end to the year.
Following several months of record shipments, December’s 13,298 was a full 57.7% weaker than the 31,422 of the corresponding month of 2018.
So while the full-year total of 386,863 smashed the previous annual record of 351,139 set in 2018, it fell short of the 400,000 confidently predicted only a few weeks ago.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.