New ve­hi­cles sales con­tinue their de­cline

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

NEW-VE­HI­CLE sales in South Africa de­clined for the third year in a row in 2016 as above-av­er­age new car price in­fla­tion of around 14 per­cent on the back of a weak rand as well as low con­sumer con­fi­dence took its toll.

In to­tal the in­dus­try man­aged to shift just 547 442 units in 2016, down 11.4 per­cent on 2015’s to­tal of 617 648, ac­cord­ing to Naamsa.

This was in spite of strong de­mand from the rental in­dus­try, which ac­counted for around 16.3 per­cent of new-car sales.

Naamsa ex­pects 2017 to be yet an­other dif­fi­cult year for the lo­cal mo­tor in­dus­try, but the as­so­ci­a­tion is hopeful there will be a mod­est im­prove­ment in new-ve­hi­cle sales dur­ing the sec­ond half of the year. This is on the back of ex­pected GDP growth of around 1.5 per­cent for the South African economy, with pri­vate con­sump­tion ex­pen­di­ture grow­ing from 0.8 per­cent to around two per­cent.

Yet while do­mes­tic sales were down in 2016, to­tal ex­ports rose from 2015’s 333 847 to a record 344 822 units and Naamsa be­lieves that fig­ure could grow in 2017.

But which were the most pop­u­lar ve­hi­cles in 2016? Toy­ota’s Hilux topped the charts with sales of 35 428, and it was fol­lowed closely by the Ford Ranger, at 32 468.

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