Stock shortages continued to thwart South Africa’s new-vehicle market during October. However, the market continued to show a robust performance, despite the volumes being lower than September, according to financial services group Wesbank.
Citing data from Naamsa | the Automotive Business Council, it noted that 41,035 new vehicles were sold during October, an increase of 6.1% over the same month last year.
Although September sales were the second-best volume month this year, October sales were 4.9% slower than last month. “It is also important to note the context of October sales within the four months this year that have sold more than 40,000 units,” Wesbank said.
“The new vehicle market appears to be recovering strongly, demand out-stripping current supply constraints,” said Lebogang Gaoaketse, head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank. “The second half of the year has performed strongly since the mid-year lockdown restrictions, with the market trading above 40,000 units a month for the past three months.”
WesBank’s own data indicates a resurgence in the South African motor industry. “While we have seen high demand for pre-owned vehicles over the last two years, a slow shift back towards new vehicles may be currently underway,” said Gaoaketse.
“Compared to a year ago, WesBank’s new applications rose 1.8% during October, while applications for pre-owned deals declined 5.9%. In addition, the bank’s used-to-new ratio has shifted over the 12-month period from 2.25 used vehicles financed for every new vehicle a year ago, to 2.08.”
However, the issue of supply is a global factor that skews the overall market picture. “Until global manufacturing stabilises off the back of the pandemic and resolves its micro-chip shortages, consumer and business purchase decisions will be swayed by availability and necessity,” said Gaoaketse.
“The good news is that South African car dealers are in a much more sustainable position than a year ago.”
South Africa’s new passenger car market was up 3.1% to 27,496 units, displaying a robust consistency throughout the year.
“Although the market looks in better shape, affordability continues to be a major consideration,” said Gaoaketse. “Significant fuel price hikes this month and the prospect of interest rates potentially increasing with the return of inflation are factors for consumers to consider when purchasing their next vehicle.”
While the usual suspects continued to top the best-seller list, namely Toyota Hilux, VW Polo and Polo Vivo, the Ford Ranger, several newer names have begun to feature strongly in recent months, particularly in the SUV/Crossover space. These include the Toyota Urban Cruiser, and Haval Jolion, which both featured in the top 10, while the Renault Kiger also had a good showing in October.
For those with deeper pockets, the BMW X3 continues to lead the way in the executive SUV market.
Amid this challenging time for motorists and the industry, the AA recently published its inaugural AA Spare Parts Pricing Guide, showing parts pricing over eleven categories of vehicles in South Africa.
The AA said it identified a number of common parts which consumers may need to consider over the lifetime of their vehicles. “Based on this, we collected pricing from dealerships in Gauteng to ensure fairness in the comparisons across each of the different categories of vehicles we selected. In terms of the vehicles themselves, we looked at popular and where possible, similarly priced models in each category,” said the AA.
The guide includes 63 vehicle types, including a range of executive SUVs. The AA looked at some of the most impressive and popular utility vehicles from the leading brands in the motoring world including Alfa Romeo, BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, and Volvo.
All vehicles are priced between R838,822, and R874,210. For service parts, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio wins out, at a price of around R9,500, ahead of the Volvo CX60 at around R10,900. The Hyundai Santa Fe is the most expensive at around R17,950.
For maintenance parts, the Mercedes Benz GLB (R20,790) is the cheapest, ahead of the Jaguar and Alfa Romeo, both at around R24,000. The most expensive is the Volvo (R49,000), while the BMW X3 costs around R40,000 for maintenance parts.
For all parts, the Alfa is the cheapest at around R180,000, followed by the Mercedes at around R199,000. The most expensive is the Hyundai (R348,352), followed by the BMW X3 at R321,609.