Gently does it
Don’t expect market fireworks while rocketing fuel prices and other cost challenges continue to put pressure on customers
Slow and steady. That’s the growth message coming from analysts and industry marketers as local new-vehicle sales struggle to continue their gradual recovery from recent depths. It will take some years to get back to the 649,000 levels the market achieved in 2013, before three years of politically driven economic misery slashed demand by over 100,000 units, but banks are sticking to their forecasts of 2%-3% growth this year, followed by 2%4% in 2019.
That may be optimistic. At the end of August, the new-vehicle market was trailing 2017 by 0,6%: 363,233 compared to 365,534. Car sales were fractionally ahead: 239,816 against 239,714.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa), in its latest quarterly report, predicts that last year’s 557,701 market will improve to about 572,000 in 2018, then 587,500 and 608,000 in the next two years.
Toyota SA CEO Andrew Kirby, who is also Naamsa president, is more cautious: “At Toyota we originally