THE NAAMSA REPORT
Sales stats August 2017
Despite an unexpected and disappointing drop in locally assembled vehicle exports, overall figures show that August has been kind to the South African motor industry with relatively strong gains in the sales of new passenger cars, light commercials and extra heavy truck sales.
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
Courtesy National Automobile Association of South Africa
BENTLEY NEW VEHICLE SALES improved by 3,091 units for a total of 49,222, which represents an improvement of 6.7% over August 2016. The new car market, with total sales of 32,161, improved by 5.4% (1,654 units) compared with August 2016.
It was in the light commercial sector, however, where the best gains were recorded with the total of 14,834 that showed a 10.8% improvement (1,448 units) compared with the corresponding month last year.
In the Top 10 category, the first seven manufacturers also recorded gains with Toyota once again in the lead with 10,751 total sales. As usual, Hilux was the overall best seller on 3,392, while Corolla/Auris/ Quest recorded 1,343 sales. Fortuner also hit the four-figure mark (1,060), while 1,161 Etios versions went to new owners. RAV sales (650) also impressed, especially when measured against Volkswagen Tiguan (273), and Hyundai Tucson (425), while Ford’s recently relaunched Kuga should, hopefully for them, improve matters significantly when compared with the rather sad 36 sales recorded in August.
In second place, Volkswagen (7,299) is still comfortably ahead of Ford – thanks to their Polo Vivo – which was the top-selling passenger car on 2,340 units, with Polo on 2,096. The Group’s Audi division recorded an impressive 921 sales, while the everpopular Golf 7 recorded 462 sales.
Third place, as usual, went to Ford, which improved its total by some 900 units for a total of 6,482 – led by Ranger (2,566),
Fiesta on 1,071, and EcoSport (also on 1,071).
The fourth place remains in the hands of Nissan (5,050) with NP200 (1,565), and NP300 (1,145) in the vanguard. Except for X-Trail (328), and Datsun GO (451), sales were unimpressive with the much-touted new Navara only managing 175 sales.
Hyundai (3,062) improved marginally to slot into fifth place – thanks to the i20 (491), Grand i10 (591), Creta (438), and Tucson (425).
In sixth place, GM/Isuzu (2,971) celebrated its swan song as General Motors SA with a total of 252 for the Opel brand, and an excellent 1,372 sales by Isuzu KB. Even the soon to be discontinued Chev Ute (677), recorded some decent figures.
Mercedes-Benz (2,235) slots into seventh position without disclosing detailed information – staying marginally ahead of Renault (2,035) which did well on the back of Kwid (784), Sandero II (345), and Duster (271), while managing to stay ahead of BMW on 1,815 sales.
Korean carmaker KIA takes ninth place with 1,575 vehicles sold, while Japanese automaker Mazda takes position ten with total sales of 1,161 units – bolstered by good performances by CX-5 (359), and CX-3 (332) with the Mazda BT-50 (53) moving ahead of the Mitsubishi Triton which recorded 25 sales.
Of the manufacturers/importers falling outside the Top 10 category, Suzuki (954) did exceptionally well, thanks to some great product offerings, and also moving constantly ahead of Honda (524).
Jaguar/Land Rover continues to hang in there with a total of 431 vehicles sold, of which 93 vehicles carried the Jaguar nameplate. This was slightly ahead of Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, which recorded 85 sales.
Unusually, Porsche dipped under the three-figure mark with a 95 total, while Mitsubishi (113), Subaru (80), and Volvo Cars (162) will have to undertake some innovative marketing campaigns to improve their respective positions. Volvo will pin its hopes on the pricey S90 and XC90, while Mitsubishi will punt its all-new (and excellent) Pajero Sport as a potential Ford Everest killer – with the Toyota Fortuner also in sight. Alarm bells are also ringing for Chrysler (153), and Fiat Group (133).
In the über-luxury division, Bentley scored an impressive eight sales, with Maserati on the same total, two units ahead of Ferrari’s six cars sold.
NAAMSA continues to anticipate that the overall market for 2017 will be similar to the numbers recorded in 2016 – while there is a slight possibility of between 1.0% and 1.5% growth. The local vehicle export industry should also benefit from positive global growth prospects.