South Africa’s new vehicle sales declined by 12pc in November to 39,315 units as compared to the prior-year period, the highest sales figures since the beginning of the COVID-19-induced lockdown, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).
The association noted the small yet steady monthly recovery as positive, however, real recovery is far away.
New passenger car sales in November stood at 25,707 units, down by 18.1pc as compared to 31,403 units in November last year.
Sales of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs), bakkies, and mini-buses for the same month grew by 5.3pc to 11,243 units as compared to 10,676 units in Nov 2019, while medium trucks and heavy truck and buses sales fell by 9.5pc and 8.4pc to 664 units and 1,701 units, respectively, from the same month year prior.
South Africa’s vehicle exports in November decreased by 7.6pc to 31,966 units as compared to 34,588 units in the preceding year.
In the Jan-Nov period, the country’s vehicle exports stood at 122,987 units, declining by 32.9pc from the prior-year period.
Naamsa said that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are extreme across the globe and the scenario is expected to remain uncertain and volatile over at least the next 6 months until safe and effective vaccines are available and rolled out in South Africa and around the world.
Low inflation, marketing incentives on new vehicles, and interest rates are expected to remain low for some time in South Africa, making it a good time to purchase new vehicles. However, consumer behavior changes and short-term budget pressures could result in longer-term developments on the back of protracted COVID-19 concerns. The consumers might have less need for mobility despite improved new vehicle affordability, the association said.
The automotive industry contributes 6.4pc to South Africa’s total GDP.