Commenting on the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of June 2017, Naamsa said that domestic new vehicle sales had reflected a mixed picture with declines in sales of new cars and heavy commercial vehicles compared to fairly solid gains in light commercial vehicle sales as well as medium commercials.
Overall, the domestic sales numbers had been reasonably encouraging at the upper end of general expectations. New vehicle exports had also managed a modest year-on-year improvement.
In the event, June 2017 aggregate new vehicle sales at 45 369 units had increased by 418 units or 0,9% from the 44 951 vehicles sold in June last year. June export sales at 31 631 vehicles had registered a gain of 429 units which represented an improvement of 1,4% compared to the 31 202 vehicles exported in June last year.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 45 369 vehicles, an estimated 38 213 units or 84,2% represented dealer sales, 9,8% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3,1% to industry corporate fleets and 2,9% to government.
The June 2017 new car market at 28 639 units reflected a fall of 630 cars or a decline of 2,2% compared to the 29 269 new cars sold in June last year. The car rental industry had accounted for an estimated 13,6% of new car sales in June. The rental industry share was understated since it excluded data for a number of automotive companies.
Domestic sales of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 14 278 units during June 2017 reflected a gain of 1 062 vehicles or an improvement of 8,0% compared to the 13 216 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments reflected a mixed performance and at 800 units and 1 652 units, respectively, reflected an improvement of 34 vehicles or 4,4% in the case of medium commercial vehicles versus, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a decline of 48 vehicles or a fall of 2,8 % compared to the corresponding month last year.
Industry new vehicle exports at 31 631 units exported during June 2017 reflected an increase of 429 units or a gain of 1,4% compared to the 31 202 vehicles exported in June last year. The momentum of vehicle exports should improve over the balance of 2017.
The outlook for the second half of the year remained uncertain. Political tensions and subdued economic growth prospects continued to impact negatively on business confidence and consumer sentiment. The challenges confronting South Africa were varied and complex.
Concerted steps were required by business, government and labour to create a more investor-friendly environment as a means of boosting growth. Domestic new vehicle sales were closely correlated with the overall performance of the economy and confidence levels.
At this stage, domestic new vehicle sales for 2017 were likely to remain flat at best. On the other hand, vehicle exports over the balance of the year should benefit from expectations of continued improvement in global growth to around 3,6%.