The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa [NAAMSA] said that the overall new vehicle market declined further in November 2019. Domestic sales figures, particularly in commercial vehicle sales, had been disappointing. However, passenger cars sales, with strong support provided by the car rental industry, showed a welcome uptick. Reflecting on the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of November 2019 released today for public consumption via the website of the Department of Trade and Industry, NAAMSA confirmed that aggregate domestic new vehicle sales, at 44 738 units, reflected a decline of 2 740 units or 5,8% from the 47 478 vehicles sold in November last year. Although monthly export sales had registered a marginal decline during the month, a new annual record had been set with still one month to go until year-end.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 44 738 vehicles, an estimated 35 168 units or 78,6% represented dealer sales, an estimated 15,9% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3,1% to industry corporate fleets, and 2,4% to government.
The November 2019 new passenger car market registered a modest but welcomed increase of 392 cars
or 1,3% to 31 444 units compared to the 31 052 new cars sold in November last year. The car rental industry once again supported domestic volumes, accounting for a substantial 21,9% of new cars sales in November 2019.
Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses at 10 679 units during
November 2019 had recorded a decline of 3 038 units or a fall of 22,1% from the 13 717 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
Sales in the low volume medium and heavy truck segments of the industry both performed weaker during the month and at 733 units and 1 882 units, respectively, reflected a decline of 60 vehicles or a fall of 7,6%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a decline of 34 units, or a fall of 1,8% compared to the corresponding month last year.
The November 2019 export sales number at 35 271 vehicles reflected a marginal decline of 306 units, or 0,9%, compared to the 35 577 vehicles exported in the same month last year. However, of significance is that vehicle exports, at 374 215 units for the first eleven months of the year, have now already surpassed the previous annual record of 351 139 vehicles exported in 2018.
The overall declining trend in the new vehicle market has continued into November 2019 affected by numerous constraining factors. The current low economic growth environment and enduring pressure on household disposable income due to rising costs of living are not conducive to uplifting business and consumer confidence. As a result, conditions in the domestic new vehicle market were expected to remain under pressure over the short to medium term. Of significance, however, is the excellent export performance of the industry with a new annual record achieved with still one month to go in the year. The 374 215 vehicles exported during the first eleven months of the year surpassed the previous record of 351 139 vehicles in 2018 by 23 076. Industry vehicle production levels would continue to benefit from strong vehicle export sales.