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Domestic car sales, exports accelerated for 11th consecutive month in November

16th December 2022

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Domestic new-vehicle sales in November recorded an eleventh consecutive month of year-on-year growth.

Total sales increased by 18.2%, to 49 413 units, compared with the same month in 2021.

The new-passenger-car market reached 32 859 units in November – a 16.9% jump on the same period last year.

The car-rental industry accounted for 20% of car sales, as the tourism industry continued to gear up for the summer holidays.

Sales of new bakkies, vans and minibus taxis expanded by 20.8%, to 13 477 units.

November medium-truck sales grew by 17.5%, reaching 900 units, while heavy-truck and bus sales increased by 22.6%, to 2 177 units.

New-vehicle exports surged by 64.7%, to 34 310 units.

Year-to-date vehicle export numbers are now 17.9% ahead of the corresponding period last year, at 326 516 units.

Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council says the country’s new-vehicle market continued its resilient performance during November, despite a myriad of negative economic pressures such as rising interest rates, a dramatic increase in loadshedding, high fuel prices, a weak economy and ongoing supply shortages.

“But the new-vehicle market continued to outperform expectations, and with only one month to go in the year, it was running 13.6% ahead of the corresponding period last year.”

The outlook for 2023 is, however, not as rosy, notes Naamsa.

Economic growth in South Africa continues to be adjusted downwards and is now expected to reach 1.1% next year.

“In view of the close correlation between new-vehicle sales and the country’s gross domestic product growth rate, single-digit growth in new-vehicle sales could be expected for 2023.”

Exports are also at risk.

“Given persistently high inflation and aggressive interest rate hikes in many advanced and developing countries at present, the risk to export sales reside on the downside.”

New-Energy Document Set for Year-end Release
Naamsa says it will release its Thought Leadership Discussion Document on New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) by the end of December.

Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa says the industry “has been discussing and consulting extensively” during the past 12 months on the country’s road to NEV use and production.

Only two South African plants currently produce hybrid vehicles, with none producing battery electric vehicles.

Mabasa notes that South Africa-based vehicle manufacturers compete within their own global production networks for model allocations, and not with each other.

Decisions on where in the world NEVs will be produced are influenced by the availability of a low-carbon logistics network; green and low-cost energy; investment and infrastructure support; competitiveness versus other international plants; and a suite of government support incentives to lower the cost of production and stimulate demand.

“Logically, South African [vehicle manufacturers] would require at least similar support [to] their overseas sister plants in order to compete on an equal footing,” says Mabasa.

“It is for this reason that the industry has proactively worked on its proposals, which will be shared with other social and business partners in order to accelerate South Africa’s NEV roadmap without further delay.

“It is clear that NEV transition support [from government] is urgently required for positive plant decisions to be taken.”

Mabasa adds that South Africa has an obligation to ensure that its auto manufacturing base is protected, retained and strengthened, given that the country is at risk of losing more than 50% of its production volume as internal combustion engines will soon be phased out in Europe, its single biggest export market.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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