Monthly vehicle sales statistics for October, released by the Department of Trade and Industry today, show a continued loss in momentum in vehicle sales after four years of positive growth. Year-on-year sales do however remain in the black with 2013 still set to be a growth year for the South African motor industry.
During October General Motors South Africa (GMSA) achieved a market share of 10,2% with strong sales of its key passenger and light commercial vehicle (LCV) models. The Chevrolet Spark continues to be a force in the small car segment with passenger car sales of 778 units securing ninth place in the top ten sellers for the month.
The Chevrolet Cruze sold 608 units for the month while the Chevrolet Captiva and Trailblazer had a strong showing in the SUV sector with 253 and 383 units respectively for the month. In the light commercial sector the Chevrolet Utility had another strong sales month with 1214 sales. The Spark Pronto continued to consolidate itself in the market with sales of 86 units as a unique purpose built urban delivery solution.
“October sales dipped slightly below forecast, in part due to inventory limitations in popular locally produced lines, in the wake of the industry wide strike during the third quarter. Total sales of 56927 vehicles reflect a drop in growth to 3,9% for the ten months to date compared to 2012,” says Brian Olson, GMSA’s Vice President Vehicle Sales, Service, and Marketing.
“Trading conditions remain difficult with private buyers, the mainstay of the industry in the early part of the year, impacted by higher than inflation price increases as a consequence of pressure on the rand resulting in high levels of imported inflation. Passenger vehicle sales were down by 4,4% compared to the same period last year. This despite some relief offered by aggressive marketing campaigns in a highly competitive market and sustained low interest rates.
“The passenger vehicle market drew strong support from positive activity in the vehicle rental sector which accounted for 17,4% of passenger vehicle sales for the month. Dealer sales remained above 80% of the total market, supported by a welcome high level of activity in the light commercial sector. In contrast to passenger vehicle sales this sector showed only a marginal decline of 0,2% over October last year – an encouraging trend.
“With ten month’s sales in the books the industry remains in the black with growth of 3,9% over the same period in 2012. The goal of 5% growth for the year may still be achievable as the industry drives towards its third best year ever.”