The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has released fresh details about the country’s new-vehicle export market in 2019.

While 2019 was a record export year for SA, 2020 is unlikely to be nearly as successful. Indeed, April 2020 exports figures were down nearly 98 percent (year on year) thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the country’s hard lockdown.

Still it's worth having a look back at 2019. So, how many locally built vehicles were shipped from South Africa in 2019? Well, a record 387 125 units were exported to 151 countries, with a total value of R148-billion. In addition, says Naamsa, automotive components worth R53,7-billion left our shores during the year.

The domestic automotive industry’s top export markets for 2019 in value terms were Germany (accounting for a whopping R75,5-billion), followed by Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United States. The UK, however, was the top destination in pure numbers terms, with 101 401 units delivered to that market.

Volkswagen, which builds the Polo hatchback (including GTI) for local and export markets along with the Polo Vivo for SA and certain other African countries, topped the country’s export rankings in 2019. The German firm’s factory is in Uitenhage.

As a reminder (and in addition to the VW models mentioned above), BMW produces the X3 in Rosslyn, Ford makes the Ranger and Everest in Silverton, and Mercedes-Benz builds the C-Class Sedan in East London. Nissan, meanwhile, makes the NP200 and NP300 Hardbody in Rosslyn, Isuzu produces the D-Max (previously badged as the KB) in Struandale, and Toyota builds the Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla Quest, Quantum and HiAce at Prospection (in 2019, of course, that list also included the eleventh-generation Corolla).

According to Naamsa, South Africa remained 22nd in global vehicle production in 2019, although its market share improved slightly from 0,64 percent to 0,69 percent. In terms of global light commercial vehicle production, SA was ranked 14th, with a market share of 1,25 percent.