According to Naamsa, March 2019's new vehicle industry sales came in at 47 718 units, representing a fall of 3,1 percent, year on year. Here’s what happened in the third month of the year in the passenger vehicle segment...

As always, it’s interesting to take a look at what’s going on in terms of individual model sales. We’ve already examined the figures and picked out the 10 best-selling bakkies for the month, and now it’s time to do the same with the passenger vehicle market.

Take note that while BMW has started reporting individual model sales figures again, some brands such as German rival Mercedes-Benz continue to provide only aggregate data (Porsche, too, recently followed suit).

So, what happened in March 2019? Well, as we pointed out last month, there has been some change to the way figures are reported. Volkswagen, for instance, is now separating its Polo hatchback and sedan figures, while Toyota no longer reports an overall number for the Corolla, Auris and Corolla Quest, instead breaking them up into individual models.

Anyway, back to March. VW’s Polo Vivo remained in top spot, with the Polo hatch in second place (for the record, the local arm of the German firm also sold 353 examples of its Polo Sedan). The Renault Kwid, meanwhile, retained third place, but had to share it with the Toyota Corolla Sedan (up from ninth the previous month).

The Hyundai Grand i10 held steady in fifth place, while the Toyota Fortuner fell two places to sixth. The Ford EcoSport returned to the table with a strong seventh, while the Toyota Etios dropped one spot to eighth. The Ford Figo also make a reappearance in ninth, while the Toyota RAV4 grabbed the final place on the table in the month of the new-generation model’s launch.

Other odds and ends

So, what else interesting happened in March? Well, BMW registered 373 units of its new 3 Series sedan along with 218 units of the locally built X3, while the fresh-faced X5 fell just two units short of three figures (and the new Z4 weighed in with 19 units). The Ford Everest (447) continued its dominance over the Isuzu MU-X (54) and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (39), while the Fiesta added a further 402 units for the Blue Oval brand.

While Haval doesn’t report individual model sales, it’s interesting to note the Chinese brand managed an impressive 631 registrations in March, easily outselling the likes of Mahindra (330), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (171), Mitsubishi (150), Opel (155), Peugeot (97) and Subaru (96).

Hyundai enjoyed fair contributions from the i20 (476), facelifted Creta (308) and updated Tucson (271), while Jaguar registered 20 units of its new all-electric I-Pace. The Kia Picanto (630) narrowly missed out on placing in the top ten (Renault’s Sandero with 627 units also came close), while the Rio added 322 units for the Korean brand.

The CX-5 (407) led the charge for Mazda, while Mitsubishi sold 70 examples of its new Eclipse Cross. For Nissan, the Datsun Go (605) continued to prove popular, as did the Almera (304), X-Trail (294), Micra (264) and Qashqai (252), while the Swift (453) performed the heavy lifting for Suzuki.

Toyota sold 180 units of its new Corolla hatchback, while the Rush added 219 units and the Avanza a further 335. The new UX (30) was the second-most popular model in the Lexus line-up for March, behind the ES sedan (35). Audi’s top-seller was again the A3 Sportback (193), with the sedan version adding 154 units (one fewer than the Q5 range), while the Tiguan managed 447 units and the outgoing Golf some 382 units for Volkswagen.

See the top ten table below (and have a look back at February 2019’s figures here):

South Africa’s 10 best-selling passenger cars of March 2019:

1. Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 2 498
2. Volkswagen Polo – 1 383
3=. Renault Kwid – 1 081
3=. Toyota Corolla Sedan – 1 081
5. Hyundai Grand i10 – 1 030
6. Toyota Fortuner – 954
7. Ford EcoSport – 868
8. Toyota Etios – 755
9. Ford Figo – 722
10. Toyota RAV4 – 715