HAS THE TIDE TURNED?
The motor industry, both locally and internationally, has experienced some topsy-turvy times recently. But there is (finally) good news: the local new car market is 6.2% up on the same period last year. And on the international front, a new superpower is
WE kick off with some global news: the Nissan-Renault Alliance has taken over the mantle as the world’s biggest volume seller from January to June this year, recording a total of 5 268 079 sales. It also means the alliance, which now includes Mitsubishi following the acquisition of the struggling Japanese firm last year, outsold the likes of Volkswagen, Toyota and General Motors.
It’s the first time that the alliance has managed to outsell the traditional Big Three, and it augers in an exciting new era for the multi-franchise company. For interest’s sake, the global brand-by-brand breakdown of Nissan-Renault’s record sales were as follows: Nissan: 2 894 488 units Renault (including Dacia): 1 879 288 units
Mitsubishi: 494 303 units
InfinItI: 125 000 units In South Africa, the alliance’s sales remain impressive. The Renault brand continues to do really well, with a total of 2 226 passenger cars sold in July. Nissan managed 1 690 passenger cars and an impressive 3 227 light commercials. The excellent performance in the light commercial segment can mostly be ascribed to the Nissan NP200 half-tonner, which alone accounted for 1 376 units.
The NP300 one-tonner also performed well, recording 1 251 units. It really deserves to do better, but the new Nissan Navara lingers on less than 150 units per month.
Also interesting to note is the sales of the Volkswagen Amarok, which is now only available in double cab guise. Recording 335 units in July, the Amarok is clearly riding a bit of a 3.0TDI V6 wave at the moment.
Meanwhile, the Fiat Fullback (22 units), the Mazda BT50 (33 units) and the Mitsubishi Triton (24 units) are still under pressure compared to the rampant Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger as well as the still popular Isuzu KB (see top three bakkie sales).
In the bakkie segment, the Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up’s performance is notable: 228 units were sold in July. Clearly this robust bakkie is very much in vogue at the moment.
Kia South Africa and Hyundai Automotive South Africa are now officially reporting their sales figures to controlling body Naamsa (The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) again – and it makes for interesting reading. Kia is doing a grand job in the sales department, with especially its entry-level cars doing well.
Hyundai is flying though, recording the fifth highest sales number of all manufacturers in South Africa. Hyundai recorded 2 753 units – only Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford and Nissan sold more. Hyundai’s top selling models were the Grand i10 (565 units), Creta (514 units) and the Tucson (435 units).
But we’ve left the best news for last: the South African new car market seems to have turned a corner: July saw an improvement of 6.2% over the sales recorded in 2016 (30 826 versus 29 035 units), which is an encouraging turnaround. Light commercials showed less growth, but at 1.7%, still recorded an improvement over last year.
Here’s holding thumbs the positive growth continues in the coming months. And years.
Above: Hyundai is now officially reporting its sales numbers, and the Creta is one of the best performers, recording 514 units sold in July. Below: Despite a hefty price tag, Toyota’s venerable pick-up is still a strong seller.