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South Africa’s domestic new vehicle sales in February 2021 stood at 37,521 units, down by 13.3pc as compared to 43,296 units sold in Feb 2020, according to data released by Naamsa – the Automotive Business Council.

The association said that the sales were in line with industry expectations as the new year got off to a slow start in terms of new vehicle sales when compared with the pre-COVID-19 level sales.

Of overall domestic vehicle sales in February, 84.3pc (31,635 units) represented dealer sales, while the vehicle rental industry sales and sales to the government represented 10pc and 3.4pc, respectively. Industry corporate fleet sales represented 2.3pc of the total sales in February.

South Africa’s domestic vehicle sales in February 2021 (in units)
TypeFeb-21Feb-20YoY (pc)Jan-21MoM (pc)
Passenger cars24,27029,622-18.1pc23,7422.2pc
Light commercial vehicles (LCVs)11,24611,616-3.2pc9,28021.2pc
Medium CVs560657-14.8pc48615.2pc
Heavy CVs338374-9.6pc21755.8pc
Extra-heavy CVs1,05996210.1pc85224.3pc
Buses4865-26.2pc72-33.3pc

Exports

In February, South Africa’s vehicle exports fell by 8pc to 29,582 units as compared to 32,143 units exported in the same month in the prior year. The association said that despite the decline, the vehicle export volumes have been steadily gaining traction.

 

Outlook

Naamsa said that the February vehicle sales continue to reflect the economic and social challenges in South Africa as the country’s economy was already in a recession before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association added that although a rebound is expected in the auto sector from March onwards, both businesses and consumer confidence are likely to remain subdued over the year.

The South African government’s budget tax relief announcements in February for individual taxpayers and lowering of the corporate income tax rate for companies, along with the low-interest rates and low inflation environment, as well as the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines will support to the vehicle sales over the short to medium term.

The association also said that South Africa’s vehicle export numbers are gaining upward momentum. It added that the exports will be supported by the rebound in global economic growth in 2021 driven by mass vaccination drives against COVID-19 in various countries.

The improvement of economic growth in countries that import vehicles from South Africa will also stimulate higher demand for vehicles. This will increase vehicle exports from South Africa, Naamsa said. The automotive industry contributes 6.4pc to South Africa’s total GDP.

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