New Car Sales Summary for March 2017

Toyota HiLux 2016NCSales

Car sales returned to positive year-on-year growth for March 2017. The good news isn't likely to last however as the recent credit downgrade will affect car prices and interest rates in the near future. 

New car sales in South Africa for March 2017 reflected somewhat positive results with year-on-year improvements across the board, but the short to long term outlook is negative due to current political and economic developments. Take a look at the summary below for the details.

Despite tough economic conditions, the local automobile industry has shown a positive gain for March 2017. Although this is good news, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) has warned that the recent political developments will have far-reaching consequences for the South African economy in the short to medium term.

In terms of vehicle sales, the Toyota Hilux once again came out on top as the best-selling vehicle in South Africa, with its rival, the Ford Ranger coming in at a close second. The popular Volkswagen Polo Vivo and Polo recorded impressive numbers yet again and remain the most popular passenger cars currently on sale in South Africa.

New car sales summary for March 2017

  • Aggregate new car sales of 48 534 up by 2.1% (+1 020 units) compared with March 2016

  • New passenger vehicle sales of 31 034 up by 2.1% (+644 units) compared to March 2016

  • Light commercial vehicle sales of 14 882 up by 1.1% (+169 units) compared to March 2016

  • Export sales of 27 720 up by 7.8% (+2 159 units) compared to March 2016

Top selling car brands in SA for March 2017


   Total Sales

  Market Share

1. Toyota

11 055



7 360


3. Ford

6 433


4. Nissan

4 339



3 227


Top selling new cars in SA for March 2017


         Total Sales

1. Toyota Hilux

3 447

2. Ford Ranger

3 234

3.VW Polo Vivo

2 383

4. VW Polo

1 997

5. Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest

1 511

New car sales outlook

According to Naamsa and the recent news of a credit rating downgrade by S&P, car sales could be in for a difficult period. Naamsa has suspended its outlook data and has this to say “The performance of the South African automotive industry is closely correlated with the overall performance of the country's economy. In this context, the key performance factors driving the industry include Gross Domestic Product growth, the direction of interest rates and the exchange rate. In light of the political events, NAAMSA will suspend, for the time being, projections for domestic vehicle sales.

Once the situation and conditions have settled down and greater clarity is forthcoming as to the impact of the political events on the direction of the economy – the Association will resume and offer guidance on expected new vehicle sales trends. Both in the short and medium term scenarios, the risk of lower vehicle sales is significantly on the downside.”

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New Car Sales Summary for 2016
2016’s New Cars – How They Fare in Terms of Sales
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