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SA New Vehicle Sales Data: September 2012

SA New Vehicle Sales Data: September 2012


1 Vehicle sales indicate Volkswagen Group South Africa market leader in the passenger car market for nine consecutive month
2 Polo Vivo the bestselling car in South Africa in September
3 FMCSA exports out-perform industry. Export sales grew 8% on last month, out-performing the rest of the SA motor industry, which recorded 6% growth
4 FMCSA car sales grew 5%, while the passenger car market slowed 2% on August, FMCSA car sales grew 5%
5 Chevrolet Utility top selling vehicle in the sub-1 ton LCV segment
6 Volkswagen Group South Africa market leader in the passenger car market for nine consecutive month
7 Private buyers supplement slower rental sales


In amplification of the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of September, 2012 – released today by NAAMSA’s independent statistical service provider, Messrs RGT SMART – the Association commented that following many months, during 2012, of double digit year on year growth, the September, 2012 new vehicle sales reflected a significant statistical slow down in underlying growth momentum.  This could be attributed, in part, to the high base effect since last years’ September new vehicle sales represented a particularly strong month.  However, the tragic events at Marikana together with the current high level of industrial action in an increasing number of sectors in the economy – had dented business confidence in South Africa.  Consumers similarly would have been affected and concerns about the macro socio- economic environment in the country was likely to have resulted in a deferral of purchasing decisions.  In the event, September, 2012 aggregate Industry domestic sales had improved by 740 units or 1.4% to 55 097 from 54 357 units in September last year.  Total domestic sales for the nine months of calendar 2012 remained 10.0% ahead of the corresponding nine months in 2011.  September, 2012 export sales at 26 638 vehicles had registered marginal improvement of 703 units or 2.7%.

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) had compiled estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment.

Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported Industry sales of 52 368 vehicles (excluding MBSA), 78.4% or 41 040 units represented dealer sales, 13.9% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.4% Industry corporate fleet sales and 4.3% to government.

Aggregate Industry new car sales during September, 2012 had maintained modest upward momentum and at 39 496 units (including MBSA) reflected an improvement of 1 667 units or 4.4% compared to the 37 829 new cars sold during September 2011.  Year to date new car sales remained 11.5% ahead of the corresponding nine months of 2011, whilst the daily selling rate during September, 2012 had continued close to 6 year high levels. The September 2012 new car market, for the third month in succession, had been supported by strong demand on the part of car rental companieswith the car rental Industry accounting for 18.6% of total sales.

Including estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment – sales of Industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses had reflected a decline and at 13 279 units during September, 2012 showed a decrease of 725 units or 5.2% compared to the 14 004 light commercial vehicle sales during the corresponding month last year.  The sales figures probably reflected a fall in general business confidence.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the Industry at an estimated 779 and 1 543 units, respectively, had recorded a decrease of 73 units or 8.6%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a decline of 129 units or 7.7%, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year.  The weak sales performance also reflected lower business confidence.

Exports of South African produced motor vehicles, including MBSA export sales data, during September, 2012 at 26 638 vehicles had registered a marginal improvement  of 703 units or 2.7 % compared to the 25 935 vehicles exported in September last year.  The momentum of Industry export sales could receive support over the medium term as various export programmes were ramped up.  Exports of light commercial vehicles in particular were expected to increase substantially in 2013.  However, exports into Europe would remain under pressure as the Eurozone automotive Industry continued to be characterized by massive over capacity and sluggish demand.

Despite prospects of a lower domestic economic growth environment, there were a number of factors that would continue to support domestic sales.  These included historically low interest rates, ongoing improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms and higher demand for credit by households and businesses.  The recent 0.5% reduction in interest rates would also support sales of consumer durable products, particularly new motor vehicles.  The highly competitive trading environment, attractive incentives and new model introductions also supported demand.  In terms of domestic sales, the Industry remained on track during 2012 for growth of around 10%.

Looking ahead to 2013, increasing inflationary pressures on the back of expected higher fuel and food prices and the impact of Rand weakness on new vehicle pricing were likely to result in a more difficult trading environment and more subdued growth in vehicle sales.


Model Volume
1. VW Polo Vivo 2587
2. VW Polo 2233
3. Toyota Etios 1736
4. Toyota Corolla 1383
5. BMW 3 –Series 1226
6. Ford Figo 1179
7. Chev Spark 1011
8. Toyota Fortuner 967
9. VW Polo Vivo Sedan 799
10. Chev Sonic 725



  Model Volume
1. Toyota Hiliux 2813
2. Chev Utility 1411
3. Nissan NP200 1380
4. Ford Ranger 1272
5. Toyota Quantum 1161
6. Isuzu KB 1158
7. Nissan NP300 Hardbody 960
8. VW Amarok 483
9. Mazda BT-50 257
10 Toyota Landcruiser PU 201
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