Slump in vehicle sales creates a buyers’ paradise
APRIL saw 12 Jaguar F-Types and 10 Ferarris sold to driving enthusiasts who can afford to pay more than a million rand for a car.
On the other end of the scale, budget buyers bought 517 Datsun Go hatchbacks during April, proving that most people could not care less about airbags and NCAP ratings, as long as the price is right. Aggregate new vehicle sales for the fool’s month stood at 44 503 units — 1 513 units down from the April last year. An estimated eight in 10 cars were sold by dealer sales, only 6,3% went to government, 4,2% to industry corporate fleets and 2,3% of the cars were sold to rental companies.
The drop in sales means it is a buyers’ market, with intense competition resulting in many incentive packages and discounts.
The bakkie, vans and light truck sector saw a decline of 774 units compared to the 12 851 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year. Sales of medium and heavy trucks also registered declines. Medium commercial vehicle sales at 777 units and heavy commercial vehicle sales at 1 465 units, reflected a fall of 38 units or 4,7% in the case of medium commercials, and a decline of 107 vehicles or a fall of 6,8% in the case of heavy trucks and buses — compared to the corresponding month last year.
The only ray of light for local manufacturers is that vehicle exports had continued to contribute positively to South Africa’s current account of the balance of payments.
Industry new vehicle exports at 23 615 units during April, 2015 had again registered exceptionally strong growth compared to the corresponding month last year rising by 6 813 vehicles or 40,5% relative to the 16 802 export sales in April, 2014. Vehicle exports for 2015 were on target to improve by around 25% in volume terms to a record export number of about 325 000.