General Motors South Africa: Expect The Unexpected Following Strong Vehicle Sales In August

  • Company captures 11% of sales in active trading conditions
  • 1 555 sales recorded for Chevrolet Utility
  • Chevrolet Spark ranks ninth in passenger segment with 822 sales
  • Strong month for Chevrolet Sonic just outside top ten with 730 sales

General Motors South Africa (GMSA) recorded sales of 6 169 vehicles in August out of a total reported by NAAMSA of 56 253 for the month for an 11% share of the total market.

General Motors South Africa sales

“Vehicle sales activity in August was stronger than expected by many in the motor industry countering the view that a period of levelling off in sales was to be anticipated,” says Malcolm Gauld, GMSA’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing. “Sales through the dealer channel were relatively strong – an indicator of private buyer activity – supported by a degree of seasonal fleet refreshment in the rental sector. Deliveries to the fleet sector (government) showed an improvement over August 2011 supported by a higher level of stock availability (this sector was influenced by post tsunami constraints last year).

“Factors impacting on the market will have been a higher number of selling days in the month, notwithstanding a public holiday early on, and a degree of private buyer confidence supported by an interest rate reduction in July. To this we can add a high level of promotional activity in the market place and continued new model interest that are associated with increased showroom traffic.

“New passenger vehicle activity continues to be focused on the lower end of the market as downsizing of the national parq continues. Here the Chevrolet Sonic and Spark feature well with their high level of technical, comfort and safety specification as an exceptional value proposition. Passenger vehicles accounted for 40 345 of the total industry sales for growth of 11,5% compared to August 2011.

“While the passenger sector flourished in August, the light commercial sector presented a perhaps more realistic market position. In this sector growth was 5,7% over August last year with 13 637 sales for the month, a reflection of a more conservative approach amongst commercial buyers.

“A point of note was the lack lustre performance of the heavy and extra heavy truck markets, which aside from the bus sector, provided the only negative performance compared to August 2011. Heavy trucks were down by 16% and extra heavy trucks by 3,8%. Both are indicators of activity in spending on construction and infrastructure projects and bear monitoring going forward.

“Year to date growth in the overall market is a healthy 11,3% with the passenger sector now 12,5% ahead for the first 8 months of the year, both higher than expected numbers. The light commercial sector is in line with expectations at 9,1% ahead of last year. The market is running ahead of the expected growth of around or just below 10% for the year but August sales indicate that the unexpected may just be achievable.”