Volkswagen Polo Vivo continues to dominate as the best selling passenger car in the market. Picture: SUPPLIED
Volkswagen Polo Vivo continues to dominate as the best selling passenger car in the market. Picture: SUPPLIED

Subdued economic circumstances, low consumer and business confidence levels, household disposable income that remains under pressure and global economic growth forecasts continued to squeeze new vehicle sales numbers in May.

Export sales were also down for the first time in 2019.

Reflecting on May’s new vehicle sales statistics, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) says aggregate domestic sales at 40,506 units show a decline of 2,444 units, or 5.7%, from the 42,950 vehicles sold in May 2018.

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An estimated 35,506 units, or 87.7%, represented dealer sales; an estimated 5.8% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.6% to industry corporate fleets and 2.9% to the government.

Export sales of 29,850 had registered a decline of 2,866 vehicles, or a fall of 8.8%, compared with the 32,829 vehicles exported in May 2018.

Passenger car sales in May declined 378 cars, or a fall of 1.4%, to 26,170 units compared with the 26,548 new cars sold in May 2018.

Light commercials, including bakkies and minibuses, sold 12,197 units in May, a decline of 1,816 units (13.0%) from the 14,013 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month in 2018. 

Sales in the medium and heavy truck segments had a mixed performance and at 681 units and 1,458 units respectively, reflected a marginal increase of two vehicles or an improvement of 0.3%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a decline of 252 vehicles (14.7%) compared with May 2018.

Demand for new vehicles is likely to remain under pressure in the coming months as the market continues to be affected by numerous constraining factors, says Naamsa.

However, in anticipation of an improved economic growth rate for the year compared with 2018, albeit modest, a better second half is expected.

SA’s 30 best-selling vehicles in May 2019

  • 1) Toyota Hilux 3,187
  • 2) VW Polo Vivo 2,478
  • 3) Ford Ranger 1,973
  • 4) VW Polo 1,390
  • 5) Nissan NP200 1,363
  • 6) Toyota Fortuner 1,319
  • 7) Toyota Quantum 1,302
  • 8) Isuzu D-Max 1,254
  • 9) Hyundai Grand i10 738
  • 10) Toyota Etios 719
  • 11) Nissan NP300 712
  • 12) Toyota RAV4 708
  • 13) Renault Kwid 634
  • 14) Ford Ecosport 586
  • 15) VW Tiguan 536
  • 16) Renault Sandero 535
  • 17) Ford Figo 448
  • 18) Nissan X-Trail 447
  • 19) Toyota Corolla Quest 444
  • 20) Hyundai i20 425
  • 21) Hyundai Tucson 419
  • 22) Datsun GO 409
  • 23) Kia Picanto 395
  • 24) VW Golf 383
  • 25) Mazda CX-5 382
  • 26) Mazda CX-3 366
  • 27) Suzuki Swift 351
  • 28) Kia Rio 348
  • 29) Renault Duster 341
  • 30) Ford Everest 285

* Figures exclude Mercedes-Benz and Haval/GWM, which don’t report their monthly sales