SA car sales fly, but Ukraine war could hobble supply
New-vehicle sales are 18.8% up compared to the first two months of 2021
SA’s new-vehicle sales continued to gain traction last month, but the war in Ukraine poses a potential global supply chain challenge for the auto industry.
There were 44,229 new cars, light commercials and trucks sold in February, making for a flying start to the year after 41,382 sales in January. Year-to-date sales rose from 72,008 to 85,559 units vs the first two months of 2021, representing an 18.8% increase.
The growth-positive national budget was good news for business and consumers with a cut in corporate income tax, accommodating adjustments in personal income tax brackets and no hike in the fuel or Road Accident Fund levy, said the Naamsa automotive business council which represents SA’s motor industry.
However, motorists’ relief was short-lived as fuel prices hit record highs this month with petrol costing more than R21 a litre for the first time.
The vehicle emissions tax rate on passenger cars will also increase from R120 to R132/gCO²/km while the tax on double cabs will increase from R160 to R176/gCO²/km from April 1.
The strong momentum in new-vehicle sales may also be affected by the escalating geopolitical tensions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Europe’s largest carmaker Volkswagen on Tuesday warned of production cuts at some of its plants including the one in Wolfsburg as Ukraine-based suppliers have been facing difficulties delivering after Russia’s invasion.
The Ukraine crisis poses potential global supply chain challenges for the auto industry because of Europe’s strategic significance to the global automotive ecosystem, says Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa.
“The timing of the confrontation comes at the time when the global auto industry is trying to recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19, disruptions and global shortages of semiconductors and many other supply chain-related challenges experienced by the industry since the beginning of 2020,” he said.
Toyota retained its position as SA’s most popular brand in February and recorded its largest market share (30.4%) to date. It also posted its second highest ever monthly sales total, retailing 13,458 units, ahead of Volkswagen (6,153), Suzuki Auto (3,240), Hyundai (3,017), Nissan (2,126), Haval (2,054), Renault (2,047), Ford (1,877), Kia (1,737) and Isuzu (1,677) rounding out the top 10.
Top selling new vehicles — February 2022
- Toyota Hilux — 3,503
- Toyota Corolla Cross — 1,693
- VW Polo Vivo — 1,634
- Toyota Starlet — 1,607
- Toyota Hi-Ace — 1,438
- Isuzu D-Max — 1,401
- Suzuki Swift — 1,313
- VW Polo — 1,186
- Toyota Fortuner — 1,101
- Renault Kwid — 1,041
- Nissan NP200 — 1,020
- VW T-Cross — 990
- Toyota Urban Cruiser — 927
- Ford Ranger — 879
- Toyota Agya — 858
- VW Polo sedan — 818
- Mahindra Scorpion Pik-Up — 766
- Hyundai Atos — 756
- Ford EcoSport — 703
- Suzuki Vitara Brezza — 664
- Hyundai Venue — 644
- GWM P-Series — 623
- Toyota Corolla Quest — 575
- Haval Jolion — 561
- GWM Steed — 526
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