Toyota Hilux still leads the charts but VW’s new T-Cross moves into top ten best sellers barely two months after its local introduction. Picture: SUPPLIED
Toyota Hilux still leads the charts but VW’s new T-Cross moves into top ten best sellers barely two months after its local introduction. Picture: SUPPLIED

SA’s ailing economy, under threat of being declared as junk status by ratings gencies, was offset by encouraging new-vehicle sales stats.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has welcomed positive news that vehicle sales during October 2019 showed a slight improvement over the corresponding month in 2018.

The total of 51,978 units sold last month was a marginal increase of 122 units or 0,2% over the 51,856 vehicles sold during October 2018.

Passenger car sales amounted to 35,904 units, signalling year-to-date increase of 860 cars or 2.5% compared to the 35,044 new cars sold in October last year.

However, new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses which are the barometer of the entrepreneurial mood, recorded 13,366 units, a decline of some 833 units or a fall of 5.9% from the 14,199 vehicles sold in October 2018.

Improvements were recorded in the medium and heavy truck segments, the former netting 839 units, an increase of 63 units and the latter 1,869 units which is 32 units more than in October 2018.

Out of the total reported industry sales, an estimated 38,558 units or 74,2% were new dealer sales while an estimated 20.3% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.7% to industry corporate fleets, and 1.8% to government during the month of October 2019.

Export sales continue to liven up the spirits with 41,277 vehicles exported to various global markets last month. This figure reflected an increase of 7,152 units, or 21.0% compared to the 34,125 vehicles exported in the same month last year. Year-to-date vehicle exports stand at 338,955 units and are now at their third highest level on record.  

According to Naamsa: “There were some positive signs during October 2019, but the turnaround in the new vehicle market anticipated for the second half of the year has not been realised yet. Furthermore, the low growth environment and the rise in South Africa’s fiscal risks do not bode well for the foreseeable future.”

The depressed current macro-economic environment, enduring pressure on household disposable income as well as low business and consumer confidence continue to stifle demand for domestic new vehicles, particularly the new passenger car market. With only eight weeks left in the year it remains to be seen whether 2019 will match or outperform 2018 which recorded a total automotive revenue amounting to R503bn.

Top 30 bestselling vehicles in October 2019

  1. Toyota Hilux — 4,377
  2. VW Polo Vivo — 2,937
  3. VW Polo — 2,098
  4. Ford Ranger — 1,806
  5. Toyota Hi-Ace — 1,738
  6. Isuzu D-Max — 1,372
  7. Toyota Corolla Quest — 1,313
  8. Ford EcoSport — 1,265
  9. VW T-Cross — 1,132
  10. Toyota Yaris — 1,065
  11. Renault Kwid — 1,056
  12. Nissan NP200 — 1,051
  13. Toyota Fortuner — 1,018
  14. Ford Figo — 963
  15. Toyota Etios — 957
  16. Renault Sandero — 886
  17. VW Tiguan — 722
  18. Suzuki Swift — 678
  19. Hyundai i20 — 654
  20. Toyota Avanza — 610
  21. Hyundai Grand i10 — 607
  22. KIA Picanto — 582
  23. Toyota RAV — 558
  24. Nissan Almera — 544
  25. Renault Clio 543
  26. VW Polo Sedan — 522
  27. Toyota Corolla — 499
  28. Datsun Go — 425
  29. Hyundai Tucson —418
  30. Hyundai Creta —403

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