These are the best-selling car brands in South Africa right now

 ·14 Jan 2023

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) released its December 2022 new vehicle sales stats – with the new vehicle market showing a 12th consecutive month of year-on-year (y-o-y) growth.

Toyota remains the best-selling car brand in South Africa, with 11,250 vehicles sold in December 2022. Second-place Volkswagen sold 5,331 in December – not even 50% of Toyota’s monthly sales.

Naamsa said total new vehicle sales in December stand at 41,783, an increase of 5,839 vehicles compared to 35,944 units from the same period the year before – a 16.2% gain.

New passenger cars saw a 15.4% increase in volume, while light commercial vehicles bettered this with 16.1%.

Medium commercial vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles also saw y-o-y sales growth with 36.9% and 23,1%, respectively.

Export sales also increased by 26,302 y-o-y, which reflected a gain of 24.2% compared to the previous year.

Despite Toyota selling the most cars across South Africa during December 2022, Mercedes Benz (9 405), Ford (5 553 ), and Volkswagen (5 447) all exported significantly more vehicles than Toyota (3 259).

Sales data for 2022 shows that the market is returning to pre-pandemic levels, with 528,963 units sold in the year – marking a 13.9% y-o-y growth. However,  2022 sales growth was lower than 2021’s robust 22% y-o-y growth.

2022’s sales are only 1.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels, with 536,612 units sold in 2019.

The new vehicle market showed remarkable resilience in 2022 as supply-chain management issues, the KwaZulu-Natal floods, load shedding, inflation, and record fuel prices wayed heavily on consumer and business spending.

However, the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in 2022 and the increase in business and leisure gave the new vehicle industry some relief from economic pressures.

Vehicle exports also grew 17,9% y-o-y in 2022 to 53,430 – despite the KZN floods severely damaging the country’s logistics network.

2023 expectations 

The local vehicle market is expected to remain resilient in 2023, even with weakening domestic indicators and a declining outlook for the global economy.

A global recession is expected in 2023, which has seen South Africa’s predicted GDP growth reduced to 1,1% for the year.

Naamsa highlights that a close correlation exists between GDP growth and new vehicle sales, meaning that a single-digit increase in new vehicle sales could be expected in 2023.

The market is also expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in local sales and exports.

The best-selling car brands in December are as follows:

Toyota – 11,250

Volkswagen – 5,331

Suzuki – 3,058

Hyundai – 2,770

Nissan – 2,144

Ford – 1,948

Renault – 1,868

Haval – 1,735

Kia – 1,650

Isuzu – 1,607

Read: Top 10 best-selling cars in 2022 – with the top car selling close to 30,000 units

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