NAAMSA Car Sales April 2013




As reported previously,  South African automotive industry new vehicle sales and export sales data will in future be compiled, verified and administered by RGT SMART and, after publication of the data on the website of the Department of Trade & Industry, the sales information will be released for public consumption without any embargo.  This arrangement has enabled Mercedes-Benz SA (Pty) Ltd to resume full sales reporting and the industry’s automotive sales data base has been updated with Mercedes-Benz sales figures retrospective to December, 2011.  Various other importers and distributors marketing vehicles in South Africa are also expected to start reporting their sales.

In amplification of the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of April, 2013 – released today on the website of the Department of Trade & Industry – the Association commented that overall new car and commercial vehicle sales for the month had benefited from the additional selling days during April, 2013 compared to April last year which had been affected by the Easter holidays. In the event, aggregate industry sales of 50920 units had shown a fairly substantial increase of 19,5%  or 8312 vehicles from the 42608 units sold in April last year.    On a daily selling rate basis, new vehicle sales for April, 2013 continued to reflect improved demand.   As expected, export sales had registered another strong performance reflecting an improvement of   29,7 %.

Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported Industry sales of 50920 vehicles, 45938 units or    90,2% represented dealer sales, 3,8% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 2,1%  to government and 3,9 % to Industry corporate fleets.


During April, 2013 a total of 34346 new cars were sold which represents an improvement of 4830  units or a gain of 16,4% compared to the 29516 new cars sold in April last year.  The daily selling rate in respect of new cars in April, 2013 was slightly higher than during the corresponding month last year.

Sales of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 14045 units during April, 2013 reflected an increase of 3038 units or 27,6% compared to the   light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the Industry at  904 units and 1625  units, respectively, had recorded an increase of 173  units or 23,7 % in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and an increase of 271 units or 20% in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year.

Industry new vehicle exports during April, 2013 at 22907  vehicles had registered further substantial gains rising by 5250 units or 29,7% compared to the 17657 vehicles exported in April last year.  Over the balance of the year, the momentum of vehicle exports was expected to continue improving and particularly exports of light commercial vehicles should increase substantially during 2013.

The medium term outlook for the automotive sector would continue to be affected by new vehicle pricing pressures as a result of the weaker exchange rate and the April, 2013 increase in CO2 vehicle emissions taxes on cars and certain categories of light commercials.  This was expected to  result in some moderation in the rate of growth in sales over the balance of the year.   However, various factors  should lend support to the industry and these included the low interest rate environment,  low debt servicing costs, strong replacement demand, the highly competitive trading environment with attractive incentives and high tech new model introductions. On the other hand, rising inflationary pressures facing consumers would affect consumers’ real disposable income and could also impact on future vehicle sales.

On the back of growth in industry new vehicle exports, industry production was projected to register strong growth in 2013.