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The Toyota Hilux sold 4,561 units in March, nearly double that of the next best-selling vehicle. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Toyota Hilux sold 4,561 units in March, nearly double that of the next best-selling vehicle. Picture: SUPPLIED

Despite supply constraints caused by global component shortages, new-vehicle sales in SA continued to fly in March.

The Naamsa automotive business council reports that 50,607 new cars, light commercials and trucks were sold last month — an increase of 7,184 units or 16.5% from the 43,423 vehicles sold in March 2021. Naamsa said it exceeded expectations and was the highest monthly total since prepandemic October 2019.

Passenger cars experienced the biggest gain. Year-to-date 93,377 units have been sold, a 25.4% rise over the same period last year. Light commercials improved by a more modest 2.9% to 35,888 units in the first three months of 2022.

“The positive new-vehicle market performance during March 2022, reaching a level last achieved pre-Covid-19, could be attributed to pent-up demand aligned with the increasing normalising of business conditions as well as enticing new model choices in the domestic market,” said Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa.

“The temporary R1.50 per litre reduction in the general fuel levy from April 6 to May 31, to curtail the record fuel prices to some extent, as well as further relief measures to follow as announced by finance minister Godongwana, have been welcomed by motorists,” Mabasa said.

Escalating inflation risks, ongoing record fuel prices, low and stagnant economic growth and a rising interest rate cycle will affect the new market negatively going forward, he said.

“The SA Reserve Bank has raised interest rates in November 2021 as well as in January and March 2022 and the upward trend is set to continue over the balance of the year in an effort to subdue inflation. Upward pressure on food, fuel and electricity prices will adversely impact all households over the short to medium term and consumers should brace themselves for ongoing cost of living increases.”

Several brands including Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been forced to drastically reduce production in Germany after reduced supplies of wiring harnesses from Ukraine. Ukraine manufactures a large portion of Europe’s wiring harnesses and, because of the war, those components are either not being produced or cannot be exported.

Market leader Toyota again took the lion’s share of SA sales in March, setting a new record with 15,008 Toyota, Hino and Lexus-badged vehicles sold. Volkswagen was second with 6,433 sales ahead of Hyundai (3,816), Suzuki (3,347), Nissan (3,132), Renault (2,600), Ford (2,235), Kia (1,910) and Isuzu (1,723) rounding out the top ten.



Toyota Hilux — 4,561

Toyota Corolla Cross — 2,384

VW Polo Vivo — 2,117

Toyota Hi-Ace — 1,644

VW Polo — 1,430

Isuzu D-Max — 1,378

Nissan NP 200 — 1,327

Toyota Starlet — 1,243

Toyota Urban Cruiser — 1,196

Suzuki Swift — 1,118

Toyota Fortuner — 1,082

Ford Ranger — 1,052

Ford EcoSport — 866

Renault Kwid — 848

VW Polo sedan — 829

Haval Jolion — 798

Hyundai Venue — 780

Hyundai Atos — 763

Renault Kiger Turbo — 718

Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up — 711

VW T-Cross — 702


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