ENTER THE NEW KIDS
SALES IMPROVE WITH REPORTING FROM NEW BRANDS
Despite the bleak winter, and a general mood of negativity in the country, new vehicle sales in July increased by a commendable 4.1% for a total of 46,719 units – compared to the July 2016 total of 44,870 units sold.
EXPORT SALES FARED EVEN BETTER with a massive improvement of 22.2% (35,486 units) compared to 29,030 units in July last year.
The passenger car category improved by 1,791 sales up to 30,826, while light commercials, on 13,774, showed a more modest improvement of 231 units.
Individual achievers in the Top 10 category included some new faces such as Hyundai and Kia, with the top spot, yet again, going to Toyota SA.
Toyota sold 10,137 vehicles locally with Hilux (3,100) the overall best seller and comfortably outperforming the Ford Ranger, which sold 2,300 units – more than a thousand fewer than in June this year. The Corolla/Auris/Quest also did well for the company – recording 1,480 sales and placing third behind Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo (2,675) and Polo. Other Toyota stars included Fortuner (1,033), and Etios on 973 units sold.
Slotting comfortably into its usual second place, Volkswagen Group managed 7,386 sales supported, in addition to Polo Vivo, by the Audi division’s excellent 1,002 sales. The Polo’s 1,623 units gave it the number two spot among passenger cars. Keep an eye on the brilliant Tiguan, which should be doing much better than its 371 recorded sales. The Golf 7, on the other hand, continues to perform, in many ways, with a sales total of 483.
Third place in the Top 10 category continues to belong to Ford which, despite the Ranger giving way to Hilux, sold 190 vehicles more than in June, for a total of 5,561. Starring for Ford were Fiesta (998), EcoSport (851), and Everest on 359 sales. Keep an eye on Kuga (261), which is due for a relaunch soon and is busy shaking off its unfortunate past. The demand for the iconic Mustang continues unabated with 62 finding new homes.
Gradually moving up the ranks from its customary sixth place, Nissan (4,917) improved its results by more than 800 units – thanks to good showings by Datsun GO (647), and Nissan X-Trail on 224 units sold. The company also experienced a surge in light commercial sales with the NP200 (1,367), and NP300 (1,251) selling well, while the much-anticipated Navara (122) has failed to excite.
Now disclosing detailed sales for the first time, Hyundai (3,035) grabs fifth place – helped along by Grand i10 (565), Creta (514), and Tucson on 435 – outselling VW’s Tiguan, but yielding to the Toyota RAV on 641.
Sixth place, rather nostalgically, goes to Isuzu Trucks/Opel with a total of 2,745 sales – mainly courtesy of Isuzu KB (1,209) and Chev Utility on 780 units sold. Opelbadged vehicles recorded 226 sales with Corsa their top seller on 108.
There was a time when Renault scraped into the Top 10 rankings with slightly more than a thousand sales. Not only has the French carmaker kicked Mercedes-Benz off its pedestal with an impressive total of 2,231 vehicles sold, but the brand also sold some 600 units more than in June 2017.
Renault’s stars were Clio IV (362), Kwid (799), and Sandero II (469). Captur impressed with 228 units sold.
Mercedes-Benz, which does not disclose specific model sales, takes the number eight spot with a modest total of 1,805, while BMW (1,582) remains in ninth overall – fractionally ahead of newcomer Kia (1,512) which makes the Top Ten at the first attempt – and kicking Mazda off the pedestal. Two models stood out for Kia – the attractive Rio (635) and the ever-popular Picanto on 659 sales.
There were some exciting developments in the ranks of those manufacturers/ importers falling outside the Top 10 listings.
Porsche, for instance, continues to shine with total sales of 116 units, and with two models – the 911 (36) and Cayenne (49) standing out. In this über-luxury division, Ferrari sold eight cars, Maserati did 16, while five Bentleys found new homes.
Jaguar/Land Rover recorded 401 total sales of which the Jaguar nameplate represented 98 units – still better than the 61 total recorded by Toyota’s Lexus division.
Suzuki (744) continues to impress, having overtaken Honda (463) – a rather sad state of affairs given that Honda, in the past – had regularly managed to sell a thousand units each month.
s widely expected that the overall market for 2017 will turn out to be fairly flat at levels similar to those recorded in 2016, while vehicle exports should continue to benefit from global economic growth currently at 3.5%.
Above: With the entry of previous non-reporting importers, Kia and Hyundai, the national sales race has been blown wide open. Seen here, the top-selling new Kia Picanto.