According to Naamsa, South Africa's January 2020 new vehicle sales came in at 39 475 units, representing a fall of 8,1 percent, year on year. Here’s what happened in the first month of 2020 in the passenger vehicle segment...

Take note that some brands – including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Haval – continue to provide only aggregate data (and thus no individual model sales), while the BMW Group has “implemented a new sales reporting model” and has thus not reported new vehicle sales for January.

So, what happened in January 2020 (be sure to check out our list of SA's best-selling bakkies, too)?

Well, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo remained at the top of the pile, with the Polo hatchback climbing two places to regain second (for the record, VW SA also registered 503 units of the Polo sedan during the month). Ford’s EcoSport climbed four spots to third, while the facelifted Renault Kwid was forced down two spots to fourth (but still managed to crack four figures).

The outgoing Toyota Corolla Quest (the new version will be introduced in March 2020) moved up a spot to fifth, while the Suzuki Swift returned to the table with a strong sixth place. Volkswagen’s T-Cross was up one to seventh, closely followed by the Ford Figo in eighth.

Like the Figo above, the Hyundai Grand i10 made a reappearance in the top ten, while Toyota’s Etios fell seven places to occupy the final spot on the list.

Other odds and ends

Any other interesting statistics from January? Well, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles registered a total of 211 units for the month, including 25 examples of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and 44 of the new Jeep Wrangler.

Ford’s Everest (247) again outsold the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (38) and Isuzu MU-X (26), while the Fiesta (once a regular in the top ten) had to settle for just 145 registrations. Honda’s top seller for the month was the Amaze (156), while Hyundai enjoyed useful contributions from the i20 (439), Venue (367), Tucson (362) and Atos (229).

Jaguar Land Rover’s most popular vehicle was again the Range Rover Sport (76), with the Evoque (62) in hot pursuit. While Kia failed to break into the top ten in January, with the Picanto having to settle for 370 units, the new Seltos added a handy 320 units for the Korean firm's local arm.

The KUV100 (166) again performed the heavy lifting for Mahindra, while the CX-5 (353) was the best-selling Mazda (the CX-3 added 302 units and the refreshed Mazda2 a further 226). The Mazda3, though, fell to 88 registrations.

Mitsubishi managed a total of 113 units for the month, while Opel ended up on just 64 (the latter’s best-seller was the outgoing Corsa with 18 units) and Volvo on 165. The Datsun Go (331) led the charge for Nissan, while Peugeot Citroën South Africa finished the month with 191 registrations (Peugeot's new 108 front and centre with 52 units).

The outgoing Clio (506) wasn’t far from placing in the top ten for Renault, with the Sandero (479) and Duster (371) also performed admirably. Interestingly, the Naamsa stats show 20 units of the soon-to-launch Triber were registered in January, too.

Suzuki clearly has access to fresh Jimny stock, with the plucky off-roader managing 189 units for the month to make it the Japanese firm’s second most-popular model after the Swift. The Ertiga (159), Ignis (116) and Vitara (106) each also crossed into three figures.

For Toyota, the Fortuner (611) just missed out on a place in the top ten, while the Yaris (439), RAV4 (337) and Avanza (355) all added useful showings. The Corolla hatchback fell one unit short of 100, while the Supra improved to 15 registrations.

The Tiguan (546) again more than doubled the sales efforts of the outgoing Golf (265), while the Up ended on 112 units. The new A1 Sportback (146) assumed the role of best-seller for Audi in January, holding off the A3 Sedan (104) and A3 Sportback (96). Interestingly, the Q7 (24) outperformed the Q8 (14) for the month.

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

South Africa’s 10 best-selling passenger cars of January 2020:

1. Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 2 811
2. Volkswagen Polo hatchback – 1 761
3. Ford EcoSport – 1 132
4. Renault Kwid – 1 010
5. Toyota Corolla Quest – 998
6. Suzuki Swift – 824
7. Volkswagen T-Cross – 764
8. Ford Figo – 722
9. Hyundai Grand i10 – 697
10. Toyota Etios – 622