Naamsa said South Africa’s export vehicle sales started the year on a relatively strong note, with January 2019 seeing 18 289 vehicles shipped from the country’s shores. This represents a substantial improvement of 4 160 units or a gain of 29,4 percent, year on year.

So, let’s take a look at which automakers were the biggest exporters from South Africa for the month.

Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz plummeted from first to sixth place, with just 443 units exported from its East London plant in January. This represents a fall of 8 834 units month-on-month, thanks to the factory being closed for much of January to “allow for plant refurbishment”.

The Volkswagen Group, meanwhile, jumped four places to snatch first, exporting 5 749 examples (up 2 526 units) of its Polo hatchback from Uitenhage. The BMW Group climbed two to second spot, with its Rosslyn plant churning out 3 927 examples of the X3 for foreign markets, representing an improvement of 279 units compared with the preceding month.

Toyota held steady in third with an export figure of 3 740, including 3 508 examples of its Hilux, 126 units of the Fortuner, 99 vehicles from its Corolla/Quest line (all built at its Prospecton factory) and seven vehicles from its Hino trucks division. This total is down 1 662 units on the Japanese firm’s effort in December.

Ford, meanwhile, fell two places to fourth, shipping off 3 684 units (comprising 3 667 units of the Ranger and 17 of the Everest) from its Silverton facility in the month. This represents a hefty fall of 5 525 units after a particularly strong December.

Nissan climbed one place to fifth on the back of Mercedes-Benz's fall, increasing its exports by 60 units to 462 (made up of 461 Hardbody units and a single NP200). Isuzu fell by 44 units to total just 97 (including 17 examples of the KB bakkie, 75 wearing the D-Max badge, four MU-X models and a single N-Series truck) to again settle for seventh.

For reference, see December 2018’s list here

Biggest exporters for January 2019:

1. Volkswagen Group: 5 749
2. BMW Group: 3 927
3. Toyota: 3 740
4. Ford Motor Company: 3 684
5. Nissan: 462
6. Mercedes-Benz: 443
7. Isuzu: 97

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