SA new-vehicle sales started off 2019 modestly due to fewer passenger cars leaving showrooms than expected. According to Naamsa, the overall market — including cars, light commercials and trucks — was 42,374 units in January, a decline of 7.4% compared with January last year. In contrast, export sales started the year on a relatively strong note with 18,289 vehicles, a 29.4% improvement over January 2018. The new-car market was particularly weak last month and the 29,040 units sold registered a fall of 10.8% compared with January last year. As was the case for most of last year, the car rental industry had made a major contribution accounting for 19.9% of new car sales in January, 2019, translating into one in every five new cars sold. Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses at 11,681 units last month were virtually unchanged from January 2018, while the medium and heavy truck segments held up relatively well at 552 units (up 24.6%) and 1,101 units (a ...

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