By Sean Nurse
Vehicle sales as published by the National Association of Automotive Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) reached 53 997 units in May 2013, which is well in line with the industry’s expectations for a total sales target of between 650 000 and 680 000 units in 2013.
This means that the country’s new vehicle market grew by 7.5% when compared to the same month last year, to 50,920 units, according to Naamsa. The motor industry continues to defy other economic indicators as May sales were 5.9% ahead of April.
The Ford Kuga enjoyed its best sales month since launch with 404 units sold, 80% of which came from demand for the popular 1.6 EcoBoost derivative. The introduction of a small capacity turbo (which replaces the thirsty five-cylinder) really boosted sales (if you’ll excuse the pun). The Ranger also impressed with 1621 sales, although these figures are down on last month.
“The May market was driven by a 5% increase in dealer channel demand across the board indicating strong consumer confidence,” said FMCSA General Manager Sales, Rob Crouse. “In the face of CPIX increasing and the exchange rate sliding, South Africa’s motor industry paints a very different picture.
General Motors also had a great month with the Trailblazer, achieving a new-sales-high of 423 units. GM continued growth in the light commercial market with increased stock availability of the new Isuzu KB, which led to total sales of 1364 units. It is interesting to note that the new Isuzu KB out-sold the Volkswagen Amarok, which managed 503 sales in May.
As has been the case for some time now the Toyota Hilux leads local and export sales with some 3076 models sold. Those figures in combination with 940 Fortuner’s, 222 Land Cruiser’s and a strong showing of 406 for the new RAV4 rounded off a particularly strong month of May for Toyota.
Glenn Crompton, Vice President: Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors, believes that the sale figures should be put in to perspective. “Although vehicle sales are in line with expectations it remains the strongest month of May since the market peaked in 2007.” “A high level of competition amongst brands and a mix of replacement and pre-emptive purchases (in expectation of a price increase) have helped sales in May.
Crompton expects the market to maintain its current rate of growth, but is cautious about the drop in the value of the rand and the impact that this will have on vehicle affordability, fuel prices and the general cost of living.