The evergreen Toyota Hilux retained its position as SA’s top-selling new vehicle in April. Picture: SUPPLIED
The evergreen Toyota Hilux retained its position as SA’s top-selling new vehicle in April. Picture: SUPPLIED

New-vehicle sales in SA fell 17.6% last month compared to March, affected by a number of public holidays that provided fewer selling days during the month.

Though April’s 35,779 sales were way ahead of the 574 sales recorded during the same month last year, it is difficult to gauge market performance given the hard lockdown restrictions during April 2020 when vehicle production and retail sales came to a standstill.

“April sales are difficult to interpret within the context of lockdown,” says Lebogang Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank Vehicle and Asset Finance. “On balance, April sales lost less against March than March sales had gained against February, meaning the market remains in its state of slow recovery.”

March sales had increased an impressive 18.4% over February, signalling a potential turnaround for a beleaguered motor industry that declined 30% in 2020.

“Demand in the new vehicle market remains high as judged by WesBank’s daily application rate,” says Gaoaketse. “While WesBank continues to finance more than twice the number of pre-owned vehicles than new, there is a marginal shift towards new-car sales as experienced during April.”

Affordability remains a key purchase consideration, driving consumers towards the pre-owned market, he says.

Mikel Mabasa, CEO of the Naamsa Automotive Business Council, said that while last year’s hard lockdown and last month’s fewer selling days distorted industry performance, for the first four months of 2021 the new-vehicle market was now 28.3% above the corresponding period last year.

Mark Dommisse, Chair of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada), says  with an average of 36,000 units sold over the first four months of 2021 the new car market is in a relatively healthy state.

“We must be mindful, however, of potential setbacks in coming months,” said Dommisse. “In contrast to 2020, we have customers, but a shortage of many models due an increasing number of global logistical challenges are impacting negatively on the current and future new vehicle stock availability in SA. We’re experiencing a global scarcity of microchips, as well as steel, resin and rubber.

“We now unfortunately have the added complication of severe lockdowns in India, limiting production. India is a large source of built-up vehicle imports, particularly in the entry-level segment of the market,” he added.

 

SA’S TOP SELLING VEHICLES - APRIL 2021

  1. Toyota Hilux — 3,163
  2. VW Polo Vivo — 1,849
  3. VW Polo — 1,792
  4. Ford Ranger — 1,705
  5. Isuza D-Max — 1,402
  6. Toyota Hi-Ace — 1,176
  7. Nissan NP200 — 1,082
  8. Toyota Urban Cruiser — 796
  9. Suzuki Swift — 652
  10. Toyota Corolla Quest — 652
  11. Renault Kwid — 642
  12. Toyota Fortuner — 615
  13. Hyundai Venue — 572
  14. Suzuki S-Presso — 571
  15. Hyundai Grand i10 — 518
  16. Toyota Starlet — 503
  17. VW Polo Sedan — 502
  18. VW T-Cross — 498
  19. Toyota Agya — 467
  20. Renault Triber — 436
  21. Ford EcoSport — 430
  22. Haval H2 — 400
  23. Mazda CX-5 — 350
  24. Suzuki Vitara Brezza — 347
  25. VW T-Roc — 347
  26. Kia Picanto — 338
  27. Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up — 338
  28. Kia Seltos — 331
  29. Hyundai Creta —326
  30. Hyundai Atos — 322

* List excludes BMW and Mercedes-Benz which do not report sales of individual models

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