South African new-vehicle sales were bleak in August with a 5.1% year-on-year decline, to 45,537 units.
While the market remains depressed, consumers have a little more to be optimistic about, said Ghana Msibi, WesBank executive head of motor.
“Inflation was at a seven-month low in July giving some analysts hope of a further interest cut before the end of the year.
“Yet lower oil prices that should be benefitting motorists at the fuel pumps are being stifled by the weakness of the Rand, with fuel price hikes expected during September.”
Msibi indicated that consumer demand as measured by finance applications remains robust, pointing to interest in the new car market, albeit that overall market performance is down.
“It is interesting to note the correlation between the South African inflation rate at 4% in July and WesBank’s average deal size for new and used vehicles up 6% and 2% year-on-year respectively,” he said.
“This may give some indication of the market’s performance given the overall affordability challenges facing household budgets.”
Wesbank’s data shows that the average value of a new car financed in August 2019 was R332,161 – a respectable increase from the average of R313,326 over the same period last year.
Despite this increase, South African motorists still have clear favourites when it comes to the types of car they buy.
Below Naamsa and data analytics company Lightstone provided a list of South Africa’s bestselling cars from January – August 2019:
VW Polo Vivo – 19,923 units sold
VW Polo (hatch & sedan) – 16,792 units sold
Toyota Fortuner – 8,070 units sold
Renault Kwid – 6,697 units sold
Hyundai Grand i10 – 6,195 units sold
Toyota Corolla Quest – 5,817 units sold
Ford Ecosport – 5,647 units sold
Toyota Etios – 5,595 units sold
Toyota RAV – 4,893 units sold
Hyundai i20 – 4,695 units sold