According to the latest statistics released by Naamsa, last month's sales figures reflected a 22,6 per cent year-on-year increase. The period also marked the best September new car sales month and yielded the second highest monthly total on record.

:: Click here for September's complete new vehicle sales figures ::


According to the latest statistics released by Naamsa, last month's sales figures reflected a 22,6 per cent year-on-year increase. The period also marked the best September new car sales month and yielded the second highest monthly total on record.


The association noted that new vehicle sales for the month "continued to power ahead, setting new records". Aggregate new vehicle sales (43 145 units) was 7 971 vehicles (22,6 per cent) higher compared with the total registered during the corresponding month last year (35 174). Year-to-date aggregate new vehicle sales were 19,3 per cent higher than overall levels for the same period last year.


The new car market in September "was assisted by strong dealer sales and car rental purchases", Naamsa said. New car sales (29 108 units) improved by 5 087 vehicles (21,2 per cent) compared with the 24 021 sold in September last year. September's new car sales figures were also 1 191 vehicles (4,3 per cent) more than the 27 917 sold during August. On a year to date basis, new car sales was 19,9 per cent ahead of the corresponding period in 2003.


Sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses also recorded impressive gains during September. The 12 091 units sold were 2 574 vehicles (27 per cent) more compared with the 9 517 sales recorded in the corresponding month last year. The sales figures also represented an increase of 826 units (7,3 per cent) over August in this sector. For the first nine months of the year, new light commercial vehicle sales were 17 per cent ahead of that recorded during the corresponding period in 2003.


Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry in September were more subdued than in recent months but had nevertheless registered gains. Sales of 818 units and 1 128 units, respectively, reflected an improvement of 185 units (29,2 per cent), in the case of medium commercials and 125 units (12,4 per cent) for heavy commercial vehicles and buses - compared with the corresponding month last year. On a year-to-date basis, sales of medium commercial vehicles remained ahead by 36 per cent and heavy trucks and buses 20,6 per cent compared with the sales recorded during the first nine months of 2003.


"Recent economic data suggests scope for further improvement in South Africa's GDP growth rate. Positive macro economic conditions, strong business and consumer confidence, an accommodative monetary and fiscal environment and, importantly, continued improved overall affordability, in terms of vehicle purchases and ownership - represented an environment conducive to further strength in new vehicle sales," Naamsa commented.


The new vehicle market was expected to record above-average, near-record growth this year. Taking account of the sales currently not reported in detail through NAAMSA - 2004 new vehicle sales in South Africa should reach an all time record projected, on an aggregate basis, at about 455 000 new vehicles.


Manufacturers and importers will also use the AutoAfrica Expo 2004, which will be held at the National Exhibition Centre in Johannesburg from October 25 to 31, as a platform to launch a variety of new models, lending further support to future demand for new motor vehicles in South Africa.


Reaction from manufacturers:

Jolyon Nash, VWSA's sales and marketing director said: "There has been very keen customer interest in the new Golf since its introduction in August, and over 2 200 have been sold over the last two months. We expect demand for the Golf to remain strong for the rest of the year."

A further boost to VWSA's sales is the Citi Golf, whose strong demand has led to the manufacturer running two production shifts to meet orders. Over 2 400 were sold in August, and Nash expected the September figure to exceed that.

Audi also performed well thus far, with great demand for the A3 and A4 during September. "The first eight months of this year saw Audi sales improving by 40 per cent compared to the same period last year, and we expect the trend to continue in September," Nash added.

Sales and marketing director for Ford Motor Company SA Nigel Harris said: "We are particularly excited by the Ford Bantam's resilience in the face of recent competitive entrants in the half-ton pickup segment, with the Bantam exceeding its previous best record once again with 1 272 units in September."


:: Click here for September's complete new vehicle sales figures ::