New Car Sales in South Africa – August 2016

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The new car market in South Africa continued on its downward spiral in August 2016. Despite the declining trend, sales of light commercial vehicles remained relatively stable and exports showed substantial gains.

An unpredictable and volatile economic environment continue to strangle the new car market in South Africa and according to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), August 2016 painted another grim picture of declining sales, particularly in the new passenger car segment. Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales, remained relatively stable, registering only a marginal decline while exports showed significant improvements.  

The Toyota Hilux dominated sales once again and is currently South Africa’s most popular vehicle. The Ford Ranger claims second place on the sales chart while Volkswagen’s ever popular Polo Vivo and Polo models continue to be favoured by buyers. The Toyota Corolla also sold well during the month August and Toyota is currently the best-selling car brand in South Africa.

See the sales summary below for more details!

New car sales summary – August 2016

  • 46 146 aggregate new vehicle sales down by 9.5% (4 839 units) compared to August 2015
  • 30 356 new passenger car sales down by 13.1% (34 923 units) compared to August 2015
  • 13 542 Light Commercial Vehicle sales down by 1% (140 units) compared to August 2015
  • 28 112 export sales up by 26.7% (7 508 units) compared to August 2015

Top-selling car brands in South Africa – August 2016


Total Sales

Market Share

     1. Toyota

10 224


     2. VW

6 814


     3. Ford

6 002


     4. GMSA

3 499


     5. Nissan

3 303


Top Selling New Cars in South Africa – August 2016


                 Total Sales

  1. Toyota Hilux

              3 081 (-72 units)

        2. Ford Ranger

              2 237 (-68 units)

        3. VW Polo Vivo

              2 702 (+250 units)

        4. VW Polo

              2 105 (+510 units)

       5. Toyota Corolla

             1 351 (+108)

New Car Sales Outlook

Poor economic growth and increased pressure on consumer disposable income will continue to persist in the short term. Factors such as major increases in new vehicle prices, vehicle production inflation, the exchange rate, higher interest rates and low levels of consumer and business confidence will continue to contribute to the declining sales trend in the new car market.

Data from Wesbank affirms the trend of car buyers migrating to the used car market in search of value. According to Wesbank, the number of vehicle finance applications received in August 2016 totalled 133 094, representing a year-on-year increase of 3.7%. Finance applications for new cars, however, showed a decline of 11.1%. The demand for used car finance grew by 11.2%.

Increased demand in the used car market has resulted in a 9.2% increase in used car prices.

Furthermore, Wesbank advises consumers to be sensible when it comes to structuring vehicle finance contracts, and not overextend themselves financially. Consumers will be wise to pay bigger deposits to help reduce monthly instalments. Shorter contract terms will help buyers reach their contract’s breakeven point sooner, thereby avoiding having to delay their new car purchase until it becomes a financial actuality.

If you are looking to buy a new or used car, find one on now!

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