Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Despite an improvement on the previous two months, new-vehicle sales still suffered a hefty drop in June, as the country faced economic ruin due to the coronavirus pandemic, and its associated lockdown.

Having fallen 98.4% in April and 68% in May from the corresponding months of 2019, the year-on-year drop in June amounted to 30.7%.

It was the first full month of sales, albeit under stringent retail conditions at dealerships, since February. However, with the economy in free fall and both business and consumer confidence at lows not seen for years, the vehicle market was always going to struggle.

As it was, local car sales totalled 19,264 — more than twice May’s 9,019 — but 33.4% behind the 28,931 of June 2019. Last month's aggregate market for all vehicles, including bakkies and commercial vehicles, was 31,867. That was up from May’s 12,932 but well short of June 2019’s 45,953.

In the first half of 2020, the motor industry sold 109,173 cars — 34.8% below the 167,537 at the same stage in 2019. Sales of all vehicles numbered 162,570 — down 36.9%.

Exports were also well short of 2019 levels. June’s 13,595 was 34.8% weaker year on year. For the first six months of the year, the 108,933 vehicles shipped to foreign destinations were down 40.3% from 2019.        

furlongerd@businesslive.co.za

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