NADA Comment: South Africa’s new vehicle sales continue to surprise in a tough economic environment

South Africa, 1 September 2022: “The appetite for new vehicles in South Africa continues to surprise motor industry pundits and forecasters, as buyers show remarkable resilience in the face of tough economic pressures,” said Mark Dommisse, Chairperson of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), when commenting on the strong sales reported for August.

The latest data distributed by naamsa I The Automotive Business Council today, shows that sales last month of 47 420 units were 14.2% higher than in August 2021. Admittedly, sales last August were released following a month of rioting and logistics setbacks at ports in terms of vehicle road deliveries.

Fast forward to August’s new vehicle sales this year, and Toyota is still recovering from the disastrous flooding in KwaZulu-Natal in April, while the economy battles with rising inflation, costly fuel, and the upward trend in interest rates which is impacting disposable incomes.

“It was encouraging to see that an estimated 40 889 units or 86% of the total volume went through the dealer retail channel. It’s important to improve dealer health as they recover from COVID-19 lockdowns, stock shortages, the ongoing global semiconductor shortage and other challenges,” added Dommisse.

A trend worth noting is the manner in which imported cars are now finding acceptance in a market previously dominated by locally-made models – especially in more affordable vehicle segments. There is also a clear indication that good quality cars from China, such as Chery and Haval are now finding ready acceptance in South Africa with steadily growing sales figures. Suzuki continues to show excellent results with another record month in August.

“The new vehicle market is still a strong 13.8% ahead of the corresponding period last year. Exports jumped 57% in August, which is particularly important for local OEMs and the South African economy. NADA is cautiously optimistic that the year will continue to run ahead of 2021’s performance,” concluded the NADA Chairperson.

NADA is a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).