According to Naamsa, the South African automotive industry’s March 2019 export sales number represented “another admirable performance”, with 37 296 vehicles shipped off during the month. This represents a substantial improvement of 7 135 units or a gain of 23,7 percent compared with the same month in 2018.

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

In March, Mercedes-Benz returned to first place (after finding itself in fifth in February), with a whopping 11 837 units of the C-Class exported from its East London plant. This represents a substantial increase of 7 248 units, month on month.

The Volkswagen Group thus fell one place to second, exporting 9 571 examples (up 700 units) of its Polo hatchback from Uitenhage. The BMW Group held steady in third, with its Rosslyn plant churning out 5 276 examples of the X3 for foreign markets, representing a fall of 597 units compared with the preceding month.

Toyota, meanwhile, remained in fourth, with an export figure of 5 220 units, including 4 895 examples of its Hilux, 215 units of the Fortuner, 99 Corolla sedan (all built at its Prospecton factory) and eleven vehicles from its Hino trucks division. This total is down 498 units on the Japanese firm’s effort in February.

Ford dropped three places to fifth, shipping off 4 193 units (comprising 4 186 units of the Ranger and seven of the Everest) from its Silverton facility in the month. This represents a fall of 3 309 units over February.

Nissan remained in sixth, increasing its exports by 176 units to 864 (made up of 853 Hardbody units and 11 units of the NP200), while seventh-place Isuzu fell by 116 units to total 246 (including 13 examples of the KB bakkie, 226 wearing the D-Max badge, four MU-X models and three N-Series trucks).

For reference, see February 2019’s list here

Biggest exporters for March 2019

1. Mercedes-Benz: 11 837
2. Volkswagen Group: 9 571
3. BMW Group: 5 276
4. Toyota: 5 220
5. Ford Motor Company: 4 193
6. Nissan: 864
7. Isuzu: 246