Hilux once again SA’s best- sell­ing ve­hi­cle

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

WHILE there are well over 2 000 dif­fer­ent mod­els of cars on sale in South Africa, it seems South Africans only buy three makes — Toy­ota, Ford and VW.

Look­ing at the March sale fig­ures, Ford said it is still a brand on the move, “con­sis­tently grow­ing its lo­cal sales and ex­port vol­umes” de­spite an over­all sales slump.

In­dus­try new ve­hi­cle ex­ports dur­ing March, 2016 had reg­is­tered a fairly sub­stan­tial de­cline of 18,5%, in vol­ume terms, com­pared to the cor­re­spond­ing month last year.

Ford sold a to­tal of 6 807 ve­hi­cles and ex­ported a record 5 086 Rangers in March 2016, its highest fig­ures yet for the year.

This is in stark con­trast to the pre­vail­ing mar­ket trends which, ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures re­leased by the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers of South Africa ( Naamsa), saw the ag­gre­gate new ve­hi­cle sales in March 2016 fall by 14% to 47 631 units com­pared to March last year. Sim­i­larly, to­tal ex­port vol­umes dropped by 18,5% to 27 714 units for the month.

Ford’s lo­cal di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing, sales and ser­vice, Neale Hill, said Ford se­cured its highest over­all sales for the year. The new Ranger again topped the 3 000 lo­cal sales mark once, while 5 086 units were ex­ported.

“We’re also de­lighted that Ford was once again the sec­ond best- sell­ing brand over­all and through the dealer chan­nel, sig­nalling strong con­sum- er con­fi­dence and the sus­tain­abil­ity of our dealer net­work.”

SA’s best sell­ing brand, Toy­ota, is as proud of es­pe­cially the all- new Hilux, which is back to be­ing SA’s best- sell­ing ve­hi­cle, note, not bakkie, but ve­hi­cle.

The “tougher- er” Hilux topped the sales chart with 3 273 de­liv­er­ies in March, en­abling Toy­ota to re­tain its ti­tle as best- sell­ing brand for the month with an over­all re­tail tally of 8 740 units. What this means is that Toy­ota has been the mar­ket leader for ev­ery month in the first quar­ter, with Hilux crowned as the most pop­u­lar LCV year- to­date.

Calvyn Ham­man, Se­nior vice pres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing for Toy­ota SA Mo­tors, is par­tic­u­larly en­cour- aged by this early per­for­mance of the new Hilux. “What makes this achieve­ment ex­cep­tional is that more than 60% of Hilux sales — an as­tound­ing 2 000 units — came from the dou­ble cab vari­ant due to the stag­gered model in­tro­duc­tion,” Ham­man said.

The new car mar­ket con­tin­ued to ex­pe­ri­ence pres­sure and, at 30 702 units, reg­is­tered a fall of 13,4% com­pared to the 35 468 new cars sold in March last year. Do­mes­tic sales of new light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, pick- ups and minibuses, at 14 507 units, dropped by 14%.

The con­sumer de­mand­driven new car mar­ket was ex­pected to re­main un­der pres­sure de­clin­ing by around 10% in vol­ume terms.

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