June SA vehicle sales ‘positive’- but from low base (V)

  • SA vehicle market still in the Doldrums
  • Year-to-date data still down on 2016
  • Finance data up – but so are prices
DATA GRAPHIC covering South AFrican vehicles sales data in June 2016. Image: WesBank
DATA GRAPHIC covering South African vehicles sales data in June 2016. Image: WesBank

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – South Africa’s new vehicle industry recovered slightly during June 2017 with a total industry sale of 45 369 – a marginal year-on-year recovery of 0.9% but from an historically very low base and in a market with underlying weakness.

Year-to-date new vehicle sales are 1.3% down compared with the first half of 2016.

June sales of cars and light commercial vehicles grew 4.3% and 5.7%, respectively. Sales of light commercials were up by 74.8%, sales to rental companies up by 25.7% in the rental channel,.

JUNE FINANCE BIDS HAD TANKED

Rudolf Mahoney, head of brand and communications at WesBank, told Carman’s Corner in a media release: “The strong LCV sales is attributed to recreational vehicles for private buyers and as well as for businesses and government.”

WATCH THE snazzy WesBank video explaining the sales situation.

WesBank’s data showed demand for vehicle finance up by 7.6% but, once again, off a low base. June 2016 finance application volumes had plummeted by 19%.

Buyers are spending more. June average price was R300 181 – passing R300 000 for the first time, according to WesBank, while extending all options to cut monthly repayments.

BUYERS WORRIED ABOUT ECONOMY

Average contract periods have risen to just over 70 months and demand for balloon (final instalment) payments were included in 30% of all finance contracts – the most since the inception of the National Credit Act in 2005.

Despite the growth in new vehicle sales, Mahoney said, there was worry among buyers about the uncertain economy. The demand for fixed interest rates has risen 26% since March 2017 to 63.4% of all contracts.

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