Naamsa director Nico Vermeulen says that the South African new vehicle market could potentially grow by 15 per cent this year, and Wesbank chief executive Ronnie Watson predicts total unit sales will reach the 900 000-per-annum mark by 2010.

Naamsa director Nico Vermeulen says that the South African new vehicle market could potentially grow by 15 per cent this year and Wesbank chief executive Ronnie Watson predicts total unit sales will reach the 900 000-per-annum mark by 2010.


Commenting on the association’s review of business conditions in the new vehicle manufacturing industry for the quarter ended December 31 2004, Vermeulen said a “combination of unprecedented favourable economic fundamentals should serve to support the positive momentum in the South African economy and demand for new motor vehicles during 2005”.


He noted that low inflation, strong consumer sentiment and business confidence, stable and disciplined macro-economic policies (coupled with significantly higher government spending on infrastructure projects), and rising private sector investment, would have a positive influences on the new vehicle market.


Vermeulen added that improving foreign reserves, progressively positive investment ratings, buoyant prices of South Africa’s main commodity exports and prospects of sustained gross domestic product growth of four per cent per annum would contribute to new vehicle sales improving by a double-digit percentage for the second successive year in 2005.


Watson, speaking at the announcement of South Africa’s Car of the Year on Tuesday, was even more optimistic in his predictions for the new vehicle market and said sales would increase by 19 per cent to 573 000 this year and to 630 000 units in 2006.


If the growth trend in the new vehicle market continued for the next five years, as he expected it would, total sales would reach 900 000 per annum, he added.


"By 2010, the taxi recapitalisation programme will have been bedded down. Our inflation rate will be three per cent, having stayed within the range of three to five per cent for the previous five years. The economy will continue to grow and will break the six per cent barrier in 2010,” said Watson.


"Black economic empowerment will have been a stunning success, with the black middle class becoming the powerhouse of our economy. Unemployment will be reduced and the rate of HIV infection will have been turned and will be declining.


WesBank's market would grow by between 20 and 22 per cent next year and, in the longer term, it would expand in line with the growth predicted for the market. He attributed part of this growth to the emerging market, said.


"There is a whole new market out there that has not experienced owning a car. The emerging market and black economic empowerment are having massive impact. There are a lot more people out there buying motor cars who weren't before," he said, adding that about 24 per cent of WesBank's total book of about R9 billion was now attributable to the emerging market.

* See pages 2 and 3 for export and import data.INDUSTRY VEHICLE SALES, EXPORT AND IMPORT DATA

Actuals 1995 - 1999

 

INDUSTRY VEHICLE SALES, EXPORT AND IMPORT DATA

Projections 2005 - 2007

 

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