africa|automotive|business|export|supply chain

2022 new-vehicle sales up 13.9%, as exports accelerate by 17.9%

27th January 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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New-vehicle sales in the domestic market increased by 13.9% in 2022, compared with 2021, says Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council.

This follows a 22.2% jump in 2021, compared with 2020.

The 2022 number of 528 963 units is still 1.4% below 2019’s prepandemic level of 536 612 units.

“Following a fairly upbeat first-quarter performance, global supply chain disruptions, along with the impact of the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal, elevated inflation, an upward trend in interest rates, record fuel prices, as well as record highs in the frequency and intensity of loadshedding, weighed heavily on both business and consumer confidence,” says Naamsa.

“However, the new-vehicle market’s performance in 2022 remained resilient, despite the multiple national and international headwinds.”

When looking at the various segments, new-passenger-vehicle sales improved by 19.3% in 2022, to 363 092 units.

Tempering this positive news somewhat is the fact that the strong consumer trend of buying less expensive and smaller cars continued last year.

Sales of bakkies, vans and minibuses improved by 2% last year, to 135 666 units.

Sales of medium commercial vehicles increased by 11.3%, to 8 370 units, with the heavy truck and bus sector seeing an 11.7% jump, to 21 835 units.

Meanwhile, new-vehicle exports from South Africa last year reached 351 450 units, showing a gain of 17.9% over 2021 numbers.

Exports reached 387 092 units in prepandemic 2019.

Naamsa notes that 2022’s performance was dragged down by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, which closed the Toyota plant for several months, while also causing challenges at the Durban port.

Naamsa warns that global economic conditions have deteriorated significantly given the high inflation and aggressive interest rate hikes in many advanced and developing countries.

“The risks to export sales, therefore, reside on the downside for 2023.”

Several new model introductions by major vehicle exporters may, however, counter this negative trend.

Naamsa expects the domestic new-vehicle market to remain positive in 2023, despite weakening domestic economic indicators and a deteriorating global growth outlook.

The association says it expects single-digit growth in new-vehicle sales as the market returns to prepandemic levels in both sales and exports.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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