According to Naamsa, South Africa's May 2020 new-vehicle sales came in at 12 932 units, representing a 68 percent fall compared with the corresponding month in 2019, thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the country’s hard lockdown. So, what happened in the passenger vehicle segment (be sure to check out our list of best-selling bakkies, too)?

Firstly, take note that some brands – including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Haval and (latterly) Opel – provide only aggregate data. Also, we should point out that after opting not to release SA’s individual model sales figures for March and April, Naamsa says it has included this information “for this month only” before it switches to a new subscription-based model from July.

Anyway, the locally built Volkswagen Polo was the country’s top seller in May 2020, with 668 units registered. The Polo Vivo was second, a mere 32 units behind.

The Hyundai Grand i10 (421) grabbed third place, while the T-Cross (300) and Polo Sedan (291) rounded out a top five positively dominated by the Wolfsburg-based firm. The new Suzuki S-Presso (283) made an immediate impact by taking sixth, while Hyundai’s i20 (265) and Tucson (235) placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

The Renault Kwid (212) was down in ninth, while the Volkswagen Tiguan (203) nabbed the final spot on the table.

Other odds and ends

In an unusual month that saw South Africa’s automotive industry splutter back to life, a number of top-ten regulars found themselves struggling. Ford’s EcoSport (114) and Figo (67), for example, didn’t feature, while Toyota’s Corolla Quest (187) and Fortuner (148) also fell from the table.

Any other interesting statistics from May 2020? Well, Hyundai registered a single example of its i30 N hot hatch, while the Venue added a useful 177 units for the Korean firm, seven more units than Kia’s Seltos. The Renault Triber (194) only just missed out on placing in the top ten, as did VW’s Golf 7 (197).

Meanwhile, Porsche managed 118 registrations, with Bentley reporting five sales for the month and Lamborghini four. The BMW Group (so, including Mini) totalled 578 units, while Mercedes-Benz (including the Smart brand) ended up on 543 units.

See the top ten table below (and have a look back at February 2020’s figures – the last time Naamsa released full sales statistics – here):

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

1. Volkswagen Polo hatchback – 668
2. Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 636
3. Hyundai Grand i10 – 421
4. Volkswagen T-Cross – 300
5. Volkswagen Polo Sedan – 291
6. Suzuki S-Presso – 283
7. Hyundai i20 – 265
8. Hyundai Tucson – 235
9. Renault Kwid – 212
10. Volkswagen Tiguan – 203