In amplification of the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of June, 2012 – released today by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) – the Association commented that the June new vehicle sales reflected another relatively solid performance with sales in all the major segments registering double digit growth compared to the corresponding month last year.

June, 2012 aggregate Industry domestic sales had improved by 7 015 units or 15.6% to 51 891 vehicles from 44 876 units in June last year. Total domestic sales for the first half of calendar 2012 remained 10.5% ahead of the six months in 2011. June, 2012 export sales at 27 061 vehicles had registered modest growth rising by 1 767 units or 7.0%.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) provides a single total sales number for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and export sales. Based on historical sales trends and forecasting techniques, Messrs RGT SMART (NAAMSA’s data processing service provider) had compiled estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment.

Overall, out of the total detailed (disaggregated) reported Industry sales of 49 108 vehicles (excluding MBSA), 86.2% or 42 340 units represented dealer sales, 5.9% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 4.1% to government and 3.8% to Industry corporate fleet sales. From a seasonal perspective, sales to car rental companies, during the next three months, should improve as the car rental Industry started to re-fleet.

Assisted by new model introductions, aggregate Industry new car sales during June, 2012 had remained relatively strong and at 35 918 units (including MBSA) reflected an improvement of 4 480 units or 14.3% compared to the 31 438 new cars sold during June 2011. Year to date new car sales were 11.8% ahead of the corresponding six months of 2011. The daily selling rate during June, 2012 had remained at five year high levels.

Including estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment – sales of Industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses had reflected strong growth and at 13 421 units during June, 2012 reflected an increase of 2 425 units or 22.1% compared to the 10 996 light commercial vehicle sales during the corresponding month last year.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the Industry at an estimated 819 and 1 733 units, respectively, had recorded an increase of 86 units or 11.7%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a rise of 24 units or 1.4%, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year.

Exports of South African produced motor vehicles, including MBSA export sales data, during June, 2012 at 27 061 vehicles had registered an improvement of 1 767 units or 7.0 % compared to the 25 294 vehicles exported in June last year. The momentum of Industry export sales should improve over the balance of the year as various vehicle export programmes were ramped up. Overall, the Industry’s export performance would remain a function of the direction of the global economy. Vehicle exports into Europe were likely to continue under pressure as a result of the recession in the Eurozone but these could be offset by higher exports to African countries and Australia.

Despite indications of further slowing in the domestic economy, new vehicle sales continued to perform remarkably well. A number of factors should support the domestic market and these included historically low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms, improving demand for credit by households and businesses as well as further pre-emptive buying by consumers in response to the weaker exchange rate in recent months. The highly competitive trading environment and ongoing new model introductions would also support demand. In terms of domestic sales, the Industry remained on track during 2012 for single digit growth in the range of 8.0% to 10% over 2011. As far as export sales were concerned, there remained some uncertainty regarding the extent of the potential impact from economic turbulence in Europe and softer growth in other International markets.