Naamsa says South Africa’s new vehicle sales declined some 10,1 percent year-on-year in December 2020, though exports showed a “welcome increase”.

Describing the year as bringing “unprecedented challenges to the country’s economy in general and the automotive industry in particular”, Naamsa said the final month of 2020 saw the new vehicle market continue to “edge higher, albeit at a slower pace”.

December 2020’s aggregate industry new-vehicle sales came in at 37 493 units, representing a decline of 4 190 vehicles or 10,1 percent compared with the corresponding month in 2019.

The new passenger car market and light commercial vehicle market reflected a “mixed performance”, revealed Naamsa, with a year-on-year volume decline of 14,4 percent in the case of new cars and an increase of 3,2 percent in the case of light commercial vehicles. Sales of heavy commercial vehicles and buses remained “weak”, it added, declining year-on-year by 15,6 percent.

Still, Naamsa pointed out export sales ended the year on a “positive note”, recording a welcome increase to 18 479 units, reflecting a gain of 4 919 vehicles or 36,3 percent compared with December 2019’s export figure.

Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 37 493 vehicles, an estimated 33 750 units or 90 percent represented dealer sales, an estimated 6,0 percent represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 2,5 percent to government and 1,5 percent to industry corporate fleets.