Nissan’s new Magnite proved popular with buyers in its first full month on sale. Picture: SUPPLIED
Nissan’s new Magnite proved popular with buyers in its first full month on sale. Picture: SUPPLIED

SA’s new-vehicle sales in June continued to track ahead of most industry forecasts despite the continued effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sales in June at 38,030 units were marginally down on May’s 38,337 units, according to the Naamsa Automotive Business Council, but sales for the first half of 2021, at 227,440 units, were 40.1% higher than over the same period in 2020 which was more adversely affected by lockdowns.

Compared to the pre-Covid-19 first six months of 2019, the new-vehicle market was still 11.7% down, highlighting that a full recovery would be protracted until about 2023, Naamsa said.

Passenger cars accounted for 24,482 units in June, marginally higher than May sales. Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales were 5.9% down to 11,208 compared to May, but up 9.6% year on year.

“Stock shortages continue to have some impact on overall sales as manufacturers continue to manage demand versus supply on imports and availability of production, while local manufacturing continues to experience some parts supply challenges,” says Lebogang Gaoaketse, head of marketing and communication at WesBank.

“However, year-to-date sales remain reassuring as the market continues its slow recovery.”

Ongoing stronger sales through the dealer channel signals improved consumer and business sentiment, rental companies are re-fleeting again while the delayed replacement cycle, due to lockdown restrictions in 2020, are catching up in contributing to improved new vehicle sales, said Naamsa.

“However, of concern is the persistent electricity supply disruptions, port delays and the third Covid-19 wave of infections being experienced.”

Toyota SA maintained its market leadership in June with 9,304 total sales, followed by Volkswagen (4,969), Ford (3,273), Hyundai (2,450), Nissan (2,001), Suzuki (1,992), Isuzu (1,664), Kia (1,557), Renault (1,456), Haval (1,259), BMW (1,100), and Mercedes (1,017)

The Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger one-tonner bakkies continued their reign as respectively the two best-selling vehicles overall in June, but the sales chart was largely dominated by budget hatchbacks and SUVs.

The new Haval Jolion was the most popular small SUV, with 708 sales in only its second full month of sales, reflecting consumer acceptance of the Chinese brand’s build-quality improvements. Nissan’s new Magnite small SUV also performed impressively in its first full month with 532 units, overtaking rivals such as the Hyundai Venue and VW T-Cross.

There has been a major consumer swing to small hatches and compact SUVs in recent times, and there were only two sedans in the top 30 selling vehicles last month: the Toyota Corolla Quest and VW Polo sedan.  

Top-selling new vehicles in SA — June 2021

  1. Toyota Hilux — 3,320
  2. Ford Ranger — 2,047
  3. VW Polo Vivo — 1,636
  4. VW Polo — 1,418
  5. Isuzu D-Max — 1,304
  6. Toyota Hi-Ace — 1,270
  7. Toyota Starlet — 1,165
  8. Nissan NP200 — 987
  9. Toyota Fortuner — 819
  10. Haval Jolion — 708
  11. Ford EcoSport — 600
  12. Toyota Urban Cruiser — 591
  13. Renault Kwid — 577
  14. Suzuki S-Presso — 572
  15. Renault Triber — 551
  16. Nissan Magnite — 532
  17. Toyota Corolla Quest — 490
  18. VW T-Cross — 465
  19. Hyundai Venue — 459
  20. Hyundai i20 — 457
  21. Hyundai Grand i10 — 443
  22. VW Polo sedan — 433
  23. VW T-Roc — 413
  24. GWM P-Series — 387
  25. Kia Rio — 384
  26. Kia Picanto — 366
  27. Suzuki Swift — 352
  28. Hyundai Atos — 331
  29. Hyundai Creta — 318
  30. Toyota Land Cruiser Pick Up — 303

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