STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
Courtesy National Automobile Association of South Africa
THE PASSENGER VEHICLE SEGMENT proved to be the most popular in June 2018, when it recorded 29,886 new vehicle sales with an improvement of 4.4%, or 1,261 units over the corresponding month of 2017, while the light commercial vehicle segment registered a slight drop to a total of 14,261 – 52 units fewer than 12 months ago.
In the top ten section, Toyota outsold all others with a phenomenal total of 11,824 sales – even better than the 10,688 vehicles sold in May this year.
Yet again, the unstoppable Hilux led the sales charge with 3,936 units edging the Japanese nameplate nearer to the magic 4,000 mark. Other Toyota successes were recorded by Corolla/Auris/Quest (1,226), Fortuner on 1,190, Etios with 977 sales, Yaris (885), and RAV with a top-ten placing 753 vehicles sold. Volkswagen (6,715) remains firmly in second place – somewhat better than its 6,524 sales in May.
The company’s best-sellers were Polo Vivo (2,285) and new Polo on 1,844 sales. Tiguan, likewise, performed well with 518 units sold but is still unable to make headway against the RAV. Sadly, the Amarok’s 314 total is less than 10% of the Hilux total.
It was the fight for third place, however, which set the cat among the pigeons. The writing for Ford was on the wall as recently as May this year when its 4,164 total sales were only slightly ahead of Nissan’s 4,100 total. June, though, saw a dramatic reversal in fortunes with Nissan’s 4,977 total sales being more than enough to defeat Ford’s total of 4,064 vehicles sold.
Nissan continues to rely heavily on its light commercials, where NP200 recorded an excellent 1,847 sales and NP300 ended on 783. The company’s X-Trail (508) also did well, while 466 units of Datsun GO found new homes.
Unaccustomed to fourth place in the top ten listings, Ford will regroup while pondering the sudden departure of CEO Dr Casper Kruger after only a few months at the helm. Ford continues to rely on Ranger (2,667), while good results were posted by Everest (406), Fiesta on 346, and a modest 221 sales by EcoSport.
Hyundai (3,108) retains fifth overall with good showings by Grand i10 (933), Creta on 597 sales, and i20 on 579 sales. Keep an eye on the H100 (212), which is set to overtake the Mahindra Scorpio Pik Up (232).
The sales month also provided another surprise when Renault (2,475) moved into sixth overall at the expense of MercedesBenz (2,070). Renault’s best performers were Kwid (1,023), Sandero II on 937 sales, and Clio IV on 216 units sold. Mercedes-Benz still doesn’t provide a breakdown of individual model sales.
Also breathing down the neck of MercedesBenz, Isuzu (1,964) managed to hold on to eight overall with its reliable KB and its relatively new MU-X SUV entry.
BMW recorded another month in ninth overall with a reasonably modest 1,714 sales – thanks to 3 Series recording 530 and X3 on 293 sales respectively.
Bringing up the rear in tenth overall, KIA (1,409) can thank Picanto (764) and Rio on 315 sales. The company’s SUV portfolio in the form of Sportage (142) and Sorento (6) are struggling somewhat at the hand of ‘more affordable’ lifestyle-oriented vehicles. Meanwhile, the top-seller outside the top ten, Mazda (1,067) performed well thanks to CX-5 on 427 sales, and Mazda3 that recorded 254 sales. Other manufacturers/ importers that caught the eye included Volvo, which moved up from its average of
200 sales per month, to a respectable 301. This was entirely due to the brilliant new XC40 (101) with good support coming from XC60 (83), as well as 21 customers who voted for the XC90, South Africa’s 2016 Car of the Year.
Other niche importers such as Jaguar/ Land Rover also performed reasonably well, recording 486 sales of which 123 carried the Jaguar nameplate. This is significantly better than Toyota’s Lexus division with its modest 56 sales.
In the rarefied air sector where pricing is casually mentioned in Bar, Porsche continues to impress with 97 sales, including the delectable 911 which went to 33 new owners. Bentley, Ferrari and Maserati all recorded six sales each, but Lamborghini did not advise as to whether or not they managed to sell any cars. The impressive Audi R8, on the other hand, only managed to convince two buyers to sign up.
Meanwhile, Naamsa believes that robust international business confidence will be good for our export programmes – on condition that the threat of protectionism is brought under control and the political climate stabilises.