In amplification of the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of March, 2012 – released today by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) – the Association commented that overall new car and commercial vehicle sales for the month had registered modest gains compared to the corresponding month last year.  Aggregate Industry sales had improved by 2 552 units or 4.8% to 56 110 vehicles from 53 558 units in March last year.  However, new car sales in particular had registered relatively strong gains.

    For the time being, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) would provide 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 53 300 vehicles (excluding MBSA), 89.0% or 47 417 units represented dealer sales, 4.9% represented sales to government, 3.1% represented sales to the vehicle rental Industry and 3.0% to Industry corporate fleet sales.

    Total aggregate Industry new car sales during March 2012 at 38 970 units reflected an improvement of

     3 802 units or 10.8 % compared to the 35 168 new cars sold during March 2011.  Car rental Industry sales which had been particularly strong over recent months, had only accounted for 3.8 % of total new car sales during March 2012.  First quarter 2012 new car sales reflected a robust performance and represented the highest quarterly level in five years.

    Including estimates for MBSA commercial vehicle sales by segment – sales of Industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 14 556 units during March, 2012 reflected a decline of 1 183 units or 7.5% compared to the 15 739 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 934 and 1 650 units, respectively, had recorded a decline of 22 units or 2.3%, in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a fall of 45 units or 2.7%, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to the corresponding month last year.  For the first quarter of 2012, commercial vehicle sales had underperformed the growth in the new car market.

    Exports of South African produced motor vehicles, including MBSA export sales, during March, 2012 at 22 430 vehicles reflected a decline of 7 596 units or a fall of 25.3% compared to the 30 026 vehicles exported during March last year.  The lower export figure was in large part due to the lack of exports by BMW.

    However, Industry export sales should improve during the months ahead as the Ford Global Compact Vehicle Export Programme and the BMW new 3 series export volumes were ramped up.  Vehicle exports intoEuropehad softened as a result of the recession and debt crisis in the Eurozone.  The Industry’s export performance during 2012 would remain a function of the direction of the global economy.  Higher export volumes to African countries however were anticipated.

    Factors that would continue to lend support to the domestic market included the recent marginal improvement in the financial position of consumers, relatively low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms, the highly competitive trading environment and new model introductions.

    The outlook for 2012 in terms of total Industry sales was one of modest, single digit growth.  However, sharp increases in energy and transport costs would impact negatively on consumer disposable income in the months ahead.  Record high fuel prices should also reinforce the growing trend in favour of more fuel efficient vehicles.  Growth in consumer spending on durable goods was expected to moderate over the medium term.

    Based on these considerations, domestic sales were expected to continue to reflect growth but at relatively subdued rates.


    Model Volume
    1 VW Polo Vivo 2 289
    2 TOYOTA Corolla 1 925
    3 VW Polo 1 875
    4 Ford Figo 1 313
    5 Toyota Fortuner 1 072
    6 BMW 3-Series 943
    7 Toyota Yaris 820
    8 Chev Aveo 800
    9 VW Golf 6 734
    10 BMW 1-Series 690


    Model Volume
    1 Toyota Hilux 3 189
    2 Nissan NP200 1 829
    3 Ford Ranger 1 753
    4 CHEV Utility 1 699
    5 Isuzu KB 1 171
    6 Toyota Quantam 1 038
    7 Nissan NP300 Hardbody 775
    8 VW Amarok 632
    9 Toyota Landcruiser PU and Nissan Nivara 287
    10 Mahindra Scorpio Pik-up 163