M a r k e t N e w s

Vehicle exports bounce back strongly

Posted on : Friday, 2nd September 2016

 VEHICLE exports bounced back strongly in August after two months of treading water, reviving hopes that South African motor industry production will achieve record levels in 2016.

 
Local motor companies exported 35,620 cars and commercial vehicles last month, 27% more than they managed in August 2015. As a result, exports for the year to date – 232,324 – rebounded from a deficit at the end of July, to an overall increase of just over 3% at the end of August.
 
Industry sales figures were released yesterday by the Department of Trade and Industry.
 
Exports in June and July had disappointed, leading to fears that earlier confident forecasts of record annual production might be misplaced. But the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said yesterday it expected the new momentum to gather pace over the rest of 2016. If so, last year’s record production total of 615,658 will be within reach. Naamsa president and Nissan SA MD Mike Whitfield yesterday predicted 630,000.
 
There was no such good news for the domestic market. New-car sales fell 13% in August from a year earlier, to 30,356 from 34,923; and the combined new-vehicle market by 9.5%, from 50,985 to 46,146. That meant that for the first eight months of the year, car sales were down by 12% to 240,251, and total sales by 10,8% to 363,410.
 
Had it not been for the car-rental market, which Standard Bank’s Nicholas Nkosi said accounted for 22% of new-car sales, the picture would have been much bleaker. Car-rental companies have taken a disproportionate share of the market in some months this year – though the trend has been exaggerated by the collapse in consumer sales.
 
Avis Rent a Car Southern Africa CEO Rainer Gottschick said recent rental industry buying was standard seasonal restocking. However, he said the industry was encouraged by growing numbers of foreign tourists visiting SA. Besides the lure of a cheap local currency, some visitors wanted to visit a "safe" destination at a time when many northern hemisphere countries were experiencing terrorist attacks.
 
"We are quite optimistic about the year-end holiday season," he said. "We are seeing high single-digit percentage growth for inward tourism."
 
Nkosi said: "That’s a rare spot of good news when there isn’t much else about. Consumers are still taking serious strain and I see nothing in the local economic environment that makes me think it’s going to get any better before next year."
 
Among individual manufacturers, Volkswagen SA had arguably the most reason to smile in August. Its 7,648 local sales and 7,266 exports made it the top overall seller with 14,914, beating out Ford Southern Africa’s 14,021 (5,473 SA, 8,545 exports), Toyota SA’s 13,787 (10,309 SA, 3,478 exports) and Mercedes-Benz SA’s 13,097 (2,731 local, 10,366 exports).
 
The top-selling vehicles in the local market were the Toyota Hilux (4,624), VW Vivo (2,702), Ford Ranger (2,237), VW Polo (2,105), Toyota Corolla (1,351) and Toyota Fortuner (1,235).

Source : www.bdlive.co.za
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