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New Vehicle Sales in South Africa Remain Strong. Image by Volkswagen.

New Vehicle Sales in South Africa Remain Strong
The latest car sales figures for South Africa show that buying a new car is still a popular option for many motorists.
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The latest car sales figures for South Africa show that buying a new car is still a popular option for many motorists. According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, during February 2017, 48,113 new vehicles were bought in the country. In February 2016, 48,144 units were sold.

Export sales were virtually unchanged from the year before. In February 2016, 29,323 South African produced vehicles were exported. This year, 29,388 vehicles were exported.

These figures include light vehicle and heavy goods sales. Both of these sectors have grown slightly. However, sales to private individuals have dropped slightly when compared to February 2016. Only 31,400 consumer cars were sold, which is 1,454 fewer than in 2016. That is a drop in sales of 4.4 per cent.

Small cars remain popular

Once again, Volkswagens are South Africa's bestselling new vehicles. The Vivo, which replaced the Volkswagen Citi Golf in March 2010, is now the country's most popular new car. During February 2017, 3,017 Vivos were sold to South African citizens and residents. The Polo is still popular with 2,642 units being sold during the same month.

Toyota dominates the next few slots in the top 10 list. At number three in the list, is the Corolla/Quest range. During the second month of 2017, 1,717 units were sold. The Toyota Etios is in fourth place with 1233 units, and 1,092 Toyota Fortuners were sold, making it SAs best-selling SUV.

Sixth on the list is the iconic Ford Fiesta. This practical small car is proving especially popular with first-time buyers. It has a long history and a relatively low price. For the first time, the Ford Focus made the top ten, with 649 units being sold during February 2017. Its appearance on the list nudged the popular EcoSport out of the top ten.

Used car sales are still strong

However, it is important to note that the statistics outlined above only reflect new car sales. People are increasingly advertising cars for sale privately. The emergence of online car sales websites has made it far easier for buyers to find exactly the vehicle they want. Both dealers and private sellers like this way of selling because the cost of advertising on these sites is low, and they are widely used by cash buyers.

Sales set to improve

Industry experts expect sales across all sectors to improve as the year progresses. The Rand continues to be strong. In addition, during 2017, economic growth of around 3.4 per cent is anticipated, which should mean an increase in consumer confidence and sales of all kinds of goods. These two factors should help to increase exports, at least in the medium term.

Economic conditions are also improving locally. In many parts of the country, drought conditions have eased, leading to an improvement in consumer confidence.

Where to find out more

If you would like to find out more about South African car sales trends, you can do so by visiting The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) website. Just click this link to do so.

Albert Adam - 22 Mar 2017

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