New Car Sales in South Africa for May 2016

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New vehicle sales are declining in South Africa and forecasts indicate that the trend will continue for the remaining half of 2016.

The trend of declining new vehicle sales continued during the month of May 2016 with major segments reflecting double-digit declines according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). As expected, exports remained positive with marginal improvements experienced in May.

Toyota is currently dominating the local market with a total market share of 22.5%, making it the best-selling vehicle brand in South Africa. The new Toyota Hilux is proving to be a major success for the brand and it’s currently selling up a storm to claim the top spot on the sales charts. The Toyota Fortuner experienced strong sales in May, too, and it’s currently the fifth best-selling car in the land. For Volkswagen, the Polo Vivo and Polo remain best-sellers and based on the popularity of these vehicles, we should see them in the Top 5 for months to come.  

"I hate to be a pessimist, but I do believe we haven't seen the worst yet," says Consumer Experience Manager, Hannes Oosthuizen. "At the moment the numbers appear to be inflated to some degree by introductions of high-volume players such as the Hilux and Fortuner. With further interest rate hikes likely, as well as some other major economic challenges on the horizon, I do think the industry faces an extremely tough 2016. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of the smaller players follow the likes of Daihatsu, Proton and MG out of the local market," he said. "The exchange rate and poor local sales make it increasingly difficult for such brands to do business in South Africa."

Relevant content:

2016 Toyota Hilux vs Ford Ranger – Offroad & Review

In-Depth Comparison: New Hilux vs Ranger vs KB vs Amarok (Video)

Drag Race: Hilux vs Ranger vs Amarok vs KB

New Car Sales Summary – May 2016

  • 42 907 aggregate new vehicle sales down by 10.3% (4 925 units) compared to May 2015.
  • 27 143 new passenger car sales down by 12.9% (4 018 units) compared to May 2015.
  • 13 446 light commercial sales down by 5.3% (753 units) compared to May 2015.
  • 33 676 export sales up by 0.8% (262 units) compared to May 2015

Top Selling Car Brands in South Africa - May 2016


         Total Sales

       Market Penetration %

 1. Toyota

         9 642 (+851)


 2. Volkswagen             

         6 678 (+416)


 3. Ford

         5 732 (+259)


 4. GMSA

         3 290 (+107)


 5. Nissan

         2 826 (+597)


* Figures in brackets indicate change compared with April 2015 figure.

Top Selling New Cars in South Africa – May 2016


         Total Sales

 1. Toyota Hilux

          3 185 (-36)

 2. Ford Ranger

          2 797 (+384)

 3. VW Polo Vivo

          2 131 (+247)

 4. VW Polo

          1 713 (+138)

 5. Toyota Fortuner

          1 333 (+487)

* Figures in brackets indicate change compared with April 2015 figure.

New Car Sales Outlook

The negative trend of declining new cars sales will continue for the remainder of 2016. Factors contributing to the decline in new car sales include poor economic growth, significant new car price increases and the possibility of further interest rate hikes. Exports, however, are expected to improve for the remainder for the year. Projections indicate that exports for 2016 should total in the region of 360 000 units while total domestic production for the year is estimated at 635 000 units.

A weak Rand has resulted in new car price increases estimated at between 10% and 15% for the year and as a result, consumers are flocking to the used car market in search of value. The increase in demand for used cars, according to WesBank, has increased by 9.5% in May 2016, which has resulted in an average 7.0% rise in used car prices.

“In the current market consumers will find themselves either having to hold onto their cars for longer, before replacing them with a new model, or taking their budget to the used market. This focus on affordability highlights the pressure on consumer budgets. The cost of motoring is on the rise, and will start playing a bigger role going forward” says Simphiwe Nghona, CEO of WesBank Motor Retail. has over 55 000 used cars for you to choose from. Whether you are looking for a new or used car, is the simplest online car buying portal in South Africa.

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