PRETORIA: Wednesday, September 01, 2021: NOTE TO THE MEDIA Reflecting on the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of September 2021, naamsa| The Automotive Business Council said that the new vehicle market continued its gradual recovery during the month of September but that the knock-on effects of the July 2021 looting disruptions as well as the cyberattack on Transnet operations were still visible on vehicle exports. Aggregate domestic new vehicle sales in September 2021, at 43 130 units, reflected an increase of 5 893 units, or 15,8%, from the 37 237 vehicles sold in September 2020. Export sales recorded a decline of 16 188 units, or 57,0%, to 12 202 units in September 2021 compared to the 28 390 vehicles exported in September 2020.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 43 130 vehicles, an estimated 35 684 units, or 82,7%, represented dealer sales, an estimated 12,4% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 2,5% sales to government and 2,4% to industry corporate fleets.
The September 2021 new passenger car market at 29 538 units had registered an increase of 6 895 cars, or a gain of 30,5%, compared to the 22 643 new cars sold in September 2020. The car rental industry supported the new passenger car market during the month and accounted for a solid 16,8% of car sales in September 2021.
Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses at 10 943 units during September 2021 had recorded a decline of 1 338 units, or a fall of 10,9%, from the 12 281 light commercial vehicles sold during September 2020.
Sales for medium and heavy truck segments of the industry reflected a good performance and at 762 units and 1 887 units, respectively, showed an increase of 79 units, or 11,6% in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses an increase of 257 vehicles, or a gain of 15,8%, compared to the corresponding month last year.
The September 2021 exports sales number at 12 202 units reflected a significant fall of 16 188 vehicles, or 57,0%, compared to the 28 390 vehicles exported in September 2020. However, for the year-to- date, vehicle exports were still 22,7% ahead of the same period last year.
The new vehicle market continued to show further good recovery during the month of September 2021 in line with the country’s return to adjusted level 2 lockdown regulations and overall enhanced business and consumer sentiment. New vehicle demand is starting to pick up with consumers, businesses and rental companies returning to the market. However, many Covid-19 disruptive elements remain in play
and prevailing market conditions have been hampered by higher logistics costs and supply chain disruptions, such as the global semi-conductor shortages impacting on the availability of certain models.
Analysts project that vehicle production losses due to the computer chips used in modern vehicles could be between 6,3 and 7,1 million vehicles for 2021 and it is expected that the shortages will spill over until the middle of 2022 before stabilising. However, it is encouraging that new vehicle demand seems to outstrip supply at present and the outlook for the balance of the year looks positive.
As anticipated, the knock-on effects of the economic disruptions caused by the civil unrest in July 2021 and the cyberattack on Transnet operations continued to impact on the industry’s export performance during the month. Much will depend on the last quarter of the year’s export performance on how quickly the industry could return to pre-Covid-19 record vehicle export levels.