May 2018’s aggregate new vehicle sales in South Africa came in at 42 984 units or an increase of 2,4% year-on-year, according to Naamsa. Here’s what happened in the fifth month of the year in terms of passenger cars…

As always, it’s interesting to take a look at what’s happening 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.

Interestingly, BMW recently opted to resume the release of its individual model sales figures, while certain other automakers – most notably German rival Mercedes-Benz – still disclose only aggregate sales statistics. Kia and Hyundai also thankfully started releasing their individual model sales figures a few months ago, which makes the picture a little clearer.

So, what happened in May 2018? Well, the Volkswagen Polo took top spot, forcing its Polo Vivo cousin down into the unfamiliar position of second (by a mere 75 units). After languishing in sixth in April, Toyota’s combination of the Corolla, Auris and Corolla Quest (the brand reports an overall figure rather than individual model sales) bounced back to grab third, just ahead of the Fortuner (which held steady in fourth).

The Hyundai Grand i10 dropped two places to fifth, while the Toyota Etios climbed one spot to sixth. The Kia Picanto fell two to seventh, with the Renault Kwid remaining in eighth just seven units behind. The Toyota RAV4 returned to the table to grab ninth, while the Hyundai Creta fell one to tenth despite registering its best month yet (on record, anyway).

Other bits and bobs

In the battle of the fresh-faced boutique crossovers, Volvo’s new XC40 (71) reigned supreme, outselling both the Jaguar E-Pace (58) and the BMW X2 (19) despite supply issues. The Bavarian brand’s locally built X3, however, managed 223 units, making it BMW’s second-most popular model for the month, behind the now-imported 3 Series (476).

Alfa Romeo’s local struggles continued, with the Giulietta (9), Giulia (5), Stelvio (3) and 4C (2) all failing to hit double figures, while Fiat’s top performer was the 500 (21) and Jeep’s the Renegade (24).

Ford again endured a less-than-stellar month, with the Everest (406) leading the way ahead of the Fiesta, which managed 333 registrations (admittedly, though, the brand switched over to a new generation of its popular hatchback in May, which likely caused interruptions). The EcoSport hit 163 units while the Figo could muster just 47 (less than the Mustang, which enjoyed 56 registrations).

Honda soldiered on with contributions from regulars such as the BR-V (163) and Jazz (131), while the Range Rover Sport (109) crossed the three-figure mark to make it Jaguar Land Rover’s top dog for the month. The i20 added 424 units for Hyundai, while the Tucson fell to 137 units.

The Rio contributed 254 units for Kia, while Mazda’s best-seller was again the CX-5 (407). The Pajero Sport (36) played that role for Mitsubishi, while the Datsun Go fell to 364 units. Opel’s new Grandland X showed 63 registrations, making it the brand’s most popular offering for May 2018, while the Peugeot 3008 on which it is based hit 53 units for the French brand.

A whopping 73 examples of the Porsche Cayenne were registered in May, while the latest Yaris (408) continued to prove popular for Toyota. Volkswagen’s Tiguan (532) enjoyed another strong month, with the local arm of the German automaker now seemingly including Allspace sales in that figure. The Golf, meanwhile, totalled 347 sales.

See the top ten table below (and have a look back at April 2018’s figures here):

South Africa’s 10 best-selling passengers cars of May 2018:

1. Volkswagen Polo – 1 979
2. Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 1 904
3. Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest – 1 228
4. Toyota Fortuner – 1 102
5. Hyundai Grand i10 – 1 081
6. Toyota Etios – 908
7. Kia Picanto – 719
8. Renault Kwid – 712
9. Toyota RAV4 – 705
10. Hyundai Creta – 700

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