New Car Sales Summary for January 2018


New car sales in South Africa got off to a sluggish start in January 2018 according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). Take a look at how the South African new car market performed below…

Aggregate new car sales registered a notable decline of 8.9% during January 2018 but exports recovered substantially with a gain of 22% compared to the same period in 2017. New passenger car sales declined by 11.6% while Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales also experienced a decline of 2.1%.

The decline of new car sales is largely attributed to a 33.5% drop in rental sales as pointed out by Ghana Msibi, Executive Head for Sales and Marketing, WesBank Motor Division, “This decline in rental sales is a seasonal trend, and naturally follows the massive growth in the rental channel last year. While the rental channel is an important contributor to the new vehicle market, we anticipate this sales slump to level out rather than set the tone for the year.”

New car sales summary for January 2018

  • Aggregate new vehicle sales of 45 888 units down by 8.9% (4 498 units) compared to January 2017

  • Passenger car sales of 32 642 units down by 11.6% (4 266 units) compared to January 2017

  • LCV sales of 11 689 units down by 2.1% (251 units) compared to January 2017

  • Exports sales of 14 212 units up by 22% (2 561 units) compared to January 2017

Top 5 best-selling car brands in SA for January 2018

  1. Toyota - 11 893 units with 25.9% market share of 25.9%

  2. Volkswagen - 7 070 units with market share of 15.4%

  3. Ford - 4 869 units with market share of 10.6%

  4. Nissan - 4 400 units with market share of 9.6%

  5. Hyundai - 2 897 units with market share of 6.3%

Top 5 best-selling cars in SA for January 2018

  1. VW Polo Vivo - 2 862 units

  2. Toyota Hilux - 2 695 units

  3. Ford Ranger - 2 269 units

  4. Toyota Corolla - 2 196 units

  5. Nissan NP200 - 1 585 units

Sales Outlook

The outlook for the medium term is largely positive and provided that further downgrades are avoided, economic growth could recover above 1.5% in 2018 and if this is the case, new vehicle sales could expand above the projected 2% to as much as 4% in 2018. Furthermore, the strengthening of the Rand will serve to reduce inflationary pressure and unlock consumer disposable income.

Positive, recent political developments and improved business confidence will further aid economic growth provided that government can commit to disciplined fiscal management and limit government expenditure while also ensuring that State Owned Enterprises are subjected to strict governance and operate according to sound business principles.

“The political outlook is favourable following the ANC’s December conference, which has changed the macroeconomic outlook for the country. The Rand has already strengthened, allowing new vehicle price inflation to continue slowing,” said Msibi. “OEMs are now in a position to continue offering marketing incentives that stimulate sales, with the result being positive consumer sentiment – and that’s excellent news for the new vehicle industry.”

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