Vehicle production, exports hard-hit by KZN floods

16th September 2022 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The KwaZulu-Natal floods, along with the associated disruption in the movement of automotive components and vehicles through the Durban port, as well as the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, all took a significant toll on South Africa’s second-quarter new-vehicle export and production numbers.

The April floods shut down Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM’s) plant in Durban until its full reopening in August.

The Japanese carmaker is the market leader in South Africa, with about one in every four vehicles sold domestically a Toyota. TSAM is also a significant exporter.

According to Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council’s newest business review, South African vehicle production dropped by 17% in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year.

Light-commercial vehicle (LCV) production was especially hard-hit, as Toyota also had to halt production of South Africa’s best-selling vehicle, the Hilux bakkie, at its Prospecton plant.

This saw overall domestic LCV production drop by 37.3%, to 41 109 units, in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same quarter last year.

Naamsa also notes that overall second-quarter new-vehicle exports from South Africa dropped by 15.3% (77 340 units), compared with the corresponding quarter last year (91 349 units).

This was again attributed to the KwaZulu-Natal floods, as well as “the ongoing repercussions” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hampering export volumes to key markets such as Europe.

Some good news is that second-quarter new-vehicle sales increased by 4.7%. However, this number was down 13.8% on the first quarter of this year.

New-energy vehicle sales also declined by 47.3%, from 1 401 units in the first quarter, to 738 units in the second quarter.