More units were retailed in the new car market than in any previous month of January. Combined new vehicle sales were also 5,5 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year.

More units were retailed in the new car market than in any previous month of January. Combined new vehicle sales were also 5,5 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year.


According to Naamsa, a total of 33 600 new vehicles were registered last month - an improvement of 1 747 units (5,5 per cent) compared with January last year.


“January is traditionally a strong sales month because new car purchasers seek to benefit from the new year’s model registration date and the associated higher resale value of motor vehicles,” a Naamsa spokesman said.


Compared with the aggregate of 26 089 units retailed during December, January’s figures were 28,8 per cent higher. With sales of 23 651 new cars in January, last month’s figures was 1 599 units (7,2 per cent) higher than the corresponding period last year.


Sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses totalled 8 842 units during January - a slight decline of 58 units (0,6 per cent) compared with the same month last year.


Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry also started the year solidly and with sales at 403 units and 704 units, respectively, recorded an improvement of 23 units (six per cent), in the case of medium commercials, and 183 units (35,1 per cent), in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared with January 2003. Sales in the heavy and extra heavy commercial vehicle segments of the market were in a strong upward phase, the Naamsa spokesman said.


“On the back of the strong Rand and highly competitive global market conditions, the momentum of vehicle exports had continued to soften throughout most of 2003.


“Looking ahead - enhanced global growth prospects, together with an expanding domestic economy, stable new vehicle prices and interest rates and generally positive consumer confidence – represented a positive environment for further growth in new vehicle sales.


“Following an improvement in aggregate new vehicle sales of 5,3 per cent last year, industry projections for 2004 suggests an improvement in aggregate sales for the year in the range of five to eight per cent,” he said.


:: Click here to view January's new vehicle sales figures and comment from the respective manufacturers ::