Slump in ve­hi­cle sales cre­ates a buy­ers’ par­adise

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Naamsa.

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.

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