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SA New Vehicle Sales Data: July 2012

SA New Vehicle Sales Data: July 2012

The new vehicle sales statistics for the month of July, 2012, were released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) last week on the 2nd of August. The Association commented that the July new vehicle sales reflected another encouraging performance with sales in all the major segments registering solid gains compared to the corresponding month last year.  July, 2012 aggregate Industry domestic sales had improved by 8 381 units or 18.3% to 54 067 vehicles from 45 686 units in July last year. Total domestic sales for the seven months of calendar 2012 remained 11.6% ahead of the corresponding seven months in 2011.  July, 2012 export sales at 27 625 vehicles had also registered gains rising by 2 862 units or 11.6%.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) provides a single total sales number for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and export sales. Based on historical sales trends and forecasting techniques, Messrs RGT SMART (NAAMSA’s data processing service provider) compiles estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment.

Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported Industry sales of 51 476 vehicles (excluding MBSA), 80.3% or 41 317 units represented dealer sales, 12.3% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.8% to Industry corporate fleet sales and 3.6% to government.  

Aggregate Industry new car sales during July, 2012 had remained strong and at 37 844 units (including MBSA) reflected an improvement of 5 817 units or 18.2% compared to the 32 027 new cars sold during July 2011.  Year to date new car sales were 12.7% ahead of the corresponding seven months of 2011.  The daily selling rate during July, 2012 had remained at five year high levels. The July 2012 new car market had received support from strong demand by car rental companies with the car rental Industry accounting for 16.5% of total sales. The contribution by car rental companies was expected to remain high over the next few months as the car rental Industry continued to re-fleet.

Including estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment – sales of Industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses had reflected strong growth and at 13 781 units during July, 2012 reflected an increase of 2 370 units or 20.8% compared to the 11 411 light commercial vehicle sales during the corresponding month last year.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the Industry at an estimated 823 and 1 619 units, respectively, had recorded an increase of 60 units or 7.9%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a rise of 134 units or 9.0%, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year.

Exports of South African produced motor vehicles, including MBSA export sales data, during July, 2012 at 27 625 vehicles had registered an improvement of 2 862 units or 11.6 % compared to the 24 763 vehicles exported in July last year. The momentum of Industry export sales should improve further over the balance of the year as various vehicle export programmes were ramped up, particularly exports of light commercial vehicles were expected to increase substantially.

Despite prospects of further slowing in the domestic economy, the automotive sector continued to perform remarkably well. A number of factors were expected to support domestic sales and these included historically low interest rates, further improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms, improving demand for credit by households and businesses. The recent 0.5% reduction in interest rates should also underpin sales of consumer durable products, particularly new motor vehicles.  The highly competitive trading environment, attractive incentives and new model introductions would also support demand. In terms of domestic sales, the Industry remained on track during 2012 for growth of around 10%.  In respect of future export sales, uncertainty prevailed regarding the potential impact of the economic recession inEuropeand softer growth in other International markets.

Source: NAAMSA

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