SA vehicle sales take another year-on-year plunge in August, as Eskom hinders recovery


Johannesburg – While South African new vehicle market saw a modest improvement of 3.4%, with last month’s total sales figure of 33 515 units representing a 26.3% decline over August 2019.

Passenger cars once again took the biggest plunge, falling by 32.6% to 19 545 units largely thanks to almost zero demand from the rental car industry, while light commercial vehicles fell by 19.4%. On the upside, there was a slight uptick in the market for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, which saw encouraging year-on-year gains of 7.7% and 9.0% respectively.

Locally, Toyota continued to lead the way with total sales of 7743 units while Volkswagen followed with 5181 sales and Ford took third spot with 2810. Hyundai was fourth with 2460 sales, and was followed by Nissan with 2198, Isuzu with 1974, Mercedes-Benz with 1540, Renault 1463 and Suzuki with 1350.

Activity in the new vehicle market is expected to remain slow for the rest of the year due to the uncertainties relating to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and short-term budget pressures, warned Naamsa, and Eskom is not helping the matter.

“Not only will the economy have to contend with consequences of the economic lockdown, it now has to deal with further rolling blackouts which comes at the worst possible time for the South African economy,” Naamsa said in response to August’s sales figures.

“Eskom announced that the heightened risk of load-shedding will haunt the South African economy for another year. All this points to an already hard-hit economy with no expectations for a quick recovery any time soon.”



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