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New-vehicle sales in SA continued their recovery in September but the knock-on effects of the July looting disruptions as well as the cyberattack on Transnet operations were still visible on vehicle exports.
The Naamsa Automotive Business Council reported domestic sales of 43,130 in September, an improvement on the 41,425 units sold in August and a 15.8% increase on September 2020. Export sales, however, declined 57% to 12,202 units compared to September 2020.
The local recovery was driven by 29,538 passenger car sales, a 30.5% gain over September last year. Light commercial vehicles dropped 10.9% to 10,943 units, largely due to supply constraints on the Ford Ranger after the factory was closed for refurbishments in August.
Sales of medium and heavy trucks increased 11.6% and 15.8% to 762 units and 1,887 units, respectively.
“The new-vehicle market continued to show further good recovery during the month of September 2021 in line with the country’s return to adjusted level 2 lockdown regulations and overall enhanced business and consumer sentiment,” said Naamsa.
“New vehicle demand is starting to pick up with consumers, businesses and rental companies returning to the market. However, many Covid-19 disruptive elements remain in play and prevailing market conditions have been hampered by higher logistics costs and supply-chain disruptions, such as the global semiconductor shortages impacting on the availability of certain models.
Naamsa said: “Analysts project that vehicle production losses due to the computer chips used in modern vehicles could be between 6.3-million and 7.1-million vehicles for 2021 and it is expected that the shortages will spill over until the middle of 2022 before stabilising. However, it is encouraging that new vehicle demand seems to outstrip supply at present and the outlook for the balance of the year looks positive.”
Toyota retained its market leadership with 10,936 units sold in September, ahead of Volkswagen (7,029), Suzuki (3,134), Hyundai (2,930), Renault (2,520), Nissan (2,330), Kia (2,230), Ford (2,021), Haval (1,990) and Isuzu (1,924), rounding out the top 10.
The Toyota Hilux maintained its position as SA’s best-selling vehicle ahead of the VW Polo. The Toyota Urban Cruiser had a particularly good month, moving into the top three for the first time and dislodging the VW Polo Vivo.
Another notable performer was the new Renault Kiger budget SUV, moving into ninth place in its first month on sale.
Top 30 selling vehicles for September
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.