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In a tough year, the South African new-vehicle market was down 1% in 2018, but, within that, passenger car sales dropped 0.8% and light commercials (including bakkies) dropped a significant 2.4% compared to the year before. The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) says the decline reflects the weak macro-economic environment, pressure on consumers’ disposable income and fragile business and consumer confidence. The increase in interest rates in November didn’t help. As we look back on the passenger car market in 2018, there were some winners. The biggest players, Toyota and Volkswagen, saw increases in figures and there were some big increases for smaller players too, like Suzuki and Volvo. But there were big losers too. The year was not kind to Ford or Mercedes-Benz and nor for the passionate brands in the Fiat Chrysler Group, while Indian marque Tata saw the biggest decline. Here’s how each automotive company fared in 2018 new passenger-car sales: AUDI —...

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