According to Naamsa, July 2010 has been something of a mixed bag performance-wise with new car sales registering some creditable gains while the commercial vehicle segment has begun to show signs of weakness.
The aggregate industry sales of 41 367 units in July registered an improvement of 6 895 units, or 20 percent, over the 34 472 units sold over the corresponding month last year. Of the 35 555 reported industry sales 30 106 units (84,7 percent) comprised dealer and retail sales, 8,5 percent was attributed to the rental segment, 3,7 percent was attributed to corporate fleet sales while the government accounted for 3,1 percent of sales.
Aggregate new car industry sales has during July had surpassed projected expectations with the 29 221 units representing a 32,4 percent improvement on the 22 062 units sold in July of last year. As such, the selling rate of new cars per day has remained quite robust.
Chief executive of McCarthy, Brand Pretorius commented: "In overall terms the new vehicle market retained momentum as evidenced by a 3,7 percent improvement over sales recorded in June as well as an increase of 20 percent over the figure for July last year, which is admittedly coming off a low base. However, this upward trend is encouraging and significantly better than we anticipated at the beginning of the year with the total market showing a year-to-date improvement of 23,3 percent."
Brand Pretorius went on to say that the passenger car segment was the star performer in July, with substantial year-to-date growth of 28,6 percent, while the car market in July this year showed an increase of 32,4 percent over the corresponding month in 2009.
Pretorius did, however, point out that while the picture in the passenger market was a relatively rosy one, the normally buoyant light commercial segment has not performed as strongly. Sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses registered 10 375 units during July 2010, reflecting a decline of 310 units or 2,9 percent compared to the 10 685 units of the corresponding month last year. Sales in the medium and heavy truck segments have also shown mixed degrees of success with medium trucks registering a 10,4 percent increase (616 units or 58 units up on last year) and heavy trucks showing a decline of 1,0 percent (12 units down on last year at 1 155 units). Pretorius explained that the buying behaviour in the commercial vehicle segments tends to be more rational and represents an accurate reflection of the current fragile levels of business confidence and subdued levels of business activity.
July 2010 Export sales have shown a strong upturn in contrast to what was a segment heavily depressed by the global financial crisis this time last year. This month's run of 23 246 registered units represents a gain of 12 038 units over the corresponding month last year, equating to an overall improvement of 107,4 percent. The year-to-date new vehicle exports stands at 130 025 units – an improvement of 38 361 vehicles imported (41,8 percent) compared to the first seven months of 2009.
Further analysis has attributed the 5,5 percent decline in interest rates since the end of 2008 and improvements in loan approval rates as contributing factors in supporting the growth of the new car market. Meanwhile, continuing uncertainty surrounding the recovery from last year's global economic slump could impact negatively on medium-term growth in the export segment.
Over the balance of 2010, the rate of growth in new vehicle sales was anticipated to moderate and, at this stage, aggregate domestic sales for 2010 were projected to expand by about 15 percent for the year, whilst export sales were projected to grow by around 30 percent in unit terms.
"It is gratifying that the motor industry has recorded an excellent start to the second half of 2010 and it appears the positive sentiment created by the success of the FIFA Football World Cup soccer has also benefitted the local motor industry and it bodes well for the rest of the year," concludes Pretorius.
Click on the DOCUMENTS tab to download the July 2010 Naamsa sales report.