SA new vehicle sales declined again in October 2015, including passenger car sales

In October 2015, new vehicle sales (as reported by NAAMSA) came in at 54 244, which is well down from the 59 335 vehicles sold in October last year. Out of the overall total industry unit sales of 54 244 units, an estimated 43 863 units or 80.9% represented dealer sales, 12.2% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.5% to industry corporate fleets and 3.4% were sales to government.

October’s new passenger car sales totalled 36 175 units, a decline of 4 433 units or 10.9% compared to the 40 608 new cars sold in October last year. In addition, domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses also reflected a substantial decline of 4 433 units or 10.9%y/y. Medium and heavy truck sales reflected a mixed sales picture. Medium commercial vehicle sales at 1 064 units reflected a noteworthy improvement of 107 vehicles or a gain of 11.2% compared with October last year. In contrast, heavy commercial vehicles registered sales of 1 834 vehicles, a decline of 119 units or a fall of 6.1% for October last year

New vehicle exports were recorded at a still impressive 27 732 units during October 2015, but this is a decline of 4 467 units or 13.9% compared to October 2014. It is important to note that the industry’s export numbers have been negatively affected by special circumstances this being that the new Ford Ranger, in the early launch stage, ran out of stock which has accounted for the relatively low industry export numbers. Significant Ford export numbers were anticipated but did not materialise. However, vehicle exports by other manufacturers also registered declines which suggest a slowdown in global markets. Ford’s export figures are set to increase significantly in the near future as production of the new Ford Ranger gains momentum.

Intense competition in a challenging, difficult trading environment along with consumers’ disposable income remaining under pressure has negatively affected durable goods purchases which continues to put pressure on margins in the vehicle sector value chain. Intense competition in the automotive industry continues to put pressure on margins throughout the value chain.

Looking ahead, it is likely that domestic car sales will remain under pressure in 2016.

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