Bucking recent trends, the light commercial vehicle market actually showed some growth in June.
Johannesburg – The South African new vehicle market continued its gradual decline in June 2019, with overall sales across the segments shrinking by 1.6 percent, versus the same month last year, to 46 663 units in total.
Bucking recent trends, the light commercial vehicle market actually showed some growth in June, with a year-on-year gain of 1.2 percent to 14 495 units, but this was offset by a 3.2 percent decline in the passenger car market, which saw sales of 28 885 units. This was in spite of a substantial contribution from the rental car industry, which accounted for 18.4 percent of sales.
Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales were a mixed bag, with the former segment growing by 16 percent year-on-year, and the latter declining by 3.9 percent.
Vehicle exports saw a return to growth, gaining 14.3 percent versus June 2018.
See-saw of hope and confusion
“Consumer and business confidence will be caught in a see-saw of hope and confusion unless macro-economic factors can begin providing some stability in the market,” said WesBank Executive Head Ghana Msibi.
“The only trend that does continue is the financial pressure that consumers remain under,” Msibi added. “While motorists should expect some relief in petrol prices during July, households will bear increases in rates and electricity prices from this month. The South African Reserve Bank will be considering interest rates carefully, but any relief will be small if at all.”
Call for lower interest rates
National Automobile Dealers’ Association Chairperson Mark Dommisse is also holding thumbs for lower interest rates.
“We would like to see the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank announce lower interest rates this month in an attempt to stimulate the retail sales market (subject to the strict inflation target mandate that SARB has, of course).
“Drastic action needs to be taken by government in order to stimulate the retail sales market across all sectors of the economy. We live in a consumption-based society with consumer confidence a big driver. As consumers increase expenditure and confidence, the economy grows. The lowering of interest rates, together with the price of fuel due to decrease substantially, will go a long way to assisting both the consumer and the private sector,” Dommisse added.
50 TOP SELLING VEHICLES: JUNE 2019