FEBRUARY 2010 NAAMSA RETAIL SALES

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Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s response

JOHANNESBURG – 2 March 2010 – New vehicle sales continued to show their strength during February according to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa). After positive market results in January, February new vehicles sales rose to their highest level since October 2008, supported by continued high rental volumes ahead of the soccer world cup.

Vehicle sales for February totaled 39,312 units, a 20, 5% increase on February last year and 3, 3% up on January. The strong market result follows a 15, 5% increase in January sales year on year and shows a definite positive return to growth. “October 2008 marked the start of the major slump in sales and the market is close to returning to those kinds of volumes, which is reassuring,” says vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Jacques Brent.

February growth was largely attributable to a strong performance by the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sector, which recorded a 17,7% increase on January 2010 sales and 13.6% ahead of the same period last year. Passenger car sales, by comparison, declined just 3, 7% over last month but were 27, 5% ahead of February 2009.

“Recent vehicle recalls in the industry seem to have had little effect on the market so far, although it will remain interesting to monitor those brands involved,” says Brent. “But while growth looks good compared to last year and volumes begin approaching the levels experienced in the latter part of 2008, the market has some way to go to recovering to the sales levels enjoyed in the beginning of 2008 – market volumes that were more in line with sustainable growth and demand.”

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) consolidated their position during February, maintaining company volumes against their strong January performance. Restricted supply of passenger models was countered by strong LCV performances from Ford Bantam and Ranger as well as the Mazda BT-50. “In line with the generally strong performance of the LCV market, Ford LCV sales grew 17.7% over last month and 13.6% on February 2009,” says Brent. “This allowed us to combat supply issues on some of our passenger car models to maintain a strong overall performance and our position in the market.” Ford Fiesta (755 sales) continued to be the company’s best-selling passenger car, with Mazda2 (285) accounting for the largest portion of Mazda passenger car sales. Ford Ranger (695) was ably supported by a strong BT-50 (435) sales month for Mazda in the LCV segment.

FMCSA continues to be bullish about general market conditions during 2010. “February sales are generally affected by fewer selling days, although this February has not been significantly shorter than most,” explains Brent. “While strong trading conditions appear to be continuing, average sales performance this year will be lowered by lower sales activity during the middle part of the year around the 2010 World Cup, in line with our forecast for a small recovery over the course of the year.”

TOP PERFORMING NEW PASSENGER VEHICLES February 2010

  1. VW Polo 3 522
  2. TOYOTA Corolla 1 688
  3. MERCEDES C-Class 1 356
  4. BMW 3-Series 946
  5. TOYOTA Fortuner 864
  6. FORD Fiesta 755
  7. CHEV Aveo 564
  8. TOYOTA Yaris T1 468
  9. RENAULT Sandero 467
  10. VW Golf 6 379

TOP PERFORMING NEW LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES February 2010

  1. TOYOTA Hilux 2 809
  2. OPEL Corsa Utility 1 195
  3. TOYOTA Quantum 956
  4. NISSAN NP300 Hardbody 901
  5. ISUZU KB 841
  6. NISSAN NP200 702
  7. FORD Ranger 695
  8. FORD Bantam 600
  9. MAZDA BT-50 435
  10. NISSAN Navara 299

Source: Naamsa