New Vehicle Sales Declined During April

New vehicle sales declined by close to 11 percent during the month of April due to what the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said were a difficult economic environment and a higher than usual number of public holidays. Naamsa records sales figures for vehicles sold in Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.

“The configuration and high number of public holidays during April this year compared to April 2013 and the resultant reduced number of trading and industry production days had impacted substantially on domestic sales levels and particularly on industry vehicle exports. In the event, April 2014 aggregate new vehicle sales at 46 013 units registered a substantial decline of 5 485 vehicles or a fall of 10.7 percent compared to the 51 498 vehicles sold in April last year,” said a statement from Naamsa. The association noted that all segments and categories had recorded year-on-year declines. The April 2014 export sales total at 16 801 units reflected a more pronounced decline of 8 142 vehicles or a fall of 32.6 percent compared to the 24 943 vehicles exported in April last year. As a result of the public holidays, the absolute declines recorded were more pronounced than the underlying trend.

Overall, out of the total (disaggregated) reported industry sales of 46 013 vehicles, 88.7 percent or 40 780 units represented dealer sales, 4.9 percent to industry corporate fleets, 4.2 percent represented sales to the vehicle rental industry and 2.2 percent to government.

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 12 796 units during April 2014 reflected a fall of 1 662 units or 11.5 percent compared to the 14 458 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry at 795 units and 1 574 units, respectively, also reflected declines of 111 units or a fall of 12.3 percent in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a more modest fall of 64 units or a decline of 3.9 percent, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year.

Industry new vehicle exports during April, 2014 at 16 801 vehicles registered a sharp decline of 8 142 units or a fall of 32.6 percent compared to the 24 943 vehicles exported in April last year. From the middle of 2014, the momentum of industry vehicle exports was expected to improve.

In the case of domestic sales, prospects for the balance of the year would be affected by subdued economic growth, exchange rate induced above-inflation new vehicle price increases and further upward pressure on interest rates.

Source : New Era