Vehicle sales improved in all segments in August, rising by 11.1% to reach 51 436, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) reports.
“August 2011 aggregate industry domestic sales had improved by 5 144 units or 11.1% to reach 51 436 vehicles from 46 292 vehicles sold during August last year. Total year to date domestic sales in calendar 2011 remained 14.5% ahead of the corresponding eight months in 2010,” Naamsa said on Friday.
Out of the total 51 436 industry reported sales in August, 40 534 units or 78.8% represented dealer sales, 15.2% represented sales to the car rental industry, 3% sales to government and a further 3% represented industry corporate fleet sales.
August 2011 export sales, at 24 835 vehicles, registered an improvement of 5 230 units or 26.7% compared with the strike-affected total of 19 605 in August last year.
Decline in momentum
According to the association, total new car sales in August, at 36 197, units reflected an improvement of 2 672 new cars or an increase of 8% compared with the 33 525 new cars sold in August 2010.
“The latest sales figures reflected a further decline in the growth momentum in the new car sales cycle and the year-on-year increase represented the lowest monthly improvement in the past nineteen months.”
For August 2011, the sale of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses exceeded expectations. The 12 933 units reflected an increase of 2 140 units, or a gain of 19.8%, compared with the 10 793 units sold in August 2010. In the first eight months of 2011, new light commercial vehicles sales were ahead by 7.5%.
Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry, at 730 and 1 576 units respectively, recorded an increase of 144 units or 24.6% in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a gain of 13.5% for heavy trucks and buses compared with August 2010.
Sales of extra heavy commercial vehicles showed exceptional performance, rising by 40.7% from 764 units in August last year to 1 075 units in August this year.
Total year to date sales of medium, heavy commercials and buses remained 23.8% ahead of the corresponding eight months of 2010.
Growth rates to slow
There was an increase in exports of South African produced motor vehicles at 24 835, reflecting an 26.7% increase, compared with August 2010’s low base of 19 605 units exported when industry production for exports was negatively affected by industrial action at the time.
“The domestic macro environment going forward was likely to become less supportive. Modest growth in private sector credit extension and in money supply, sharply higher administered price increases, including electricity and fuel costs, would pressurise consumer disposable income and demand for durable goods,” said Naamsa.
For the rest of the year new vehicle sales are expected to continue to show growth but at a lower rate.