The best-selling car brands in South Africa – including 11 of the most popular models right now

 ·9 Jul 2023

While domestic new passenger vehicle sales reflected a relatively stagnant but encouraging year-on-year volume increase of 0.8% in June 2023, there are still some clear brand and model favourites among those who purchased a new car last month.

Aggregate domestic new vehicle sales, recorded 46,810 units, reflecting a significant increase of 5,758 vehicles or 14%, from the 41,052 new cars sold in June 2022.

As of June 2023, Toyota continues to be the most popular brand in South Africa, selling 13,016 vehicles. This is partly due to the continued popularity of its flagship bakkie.

Interestingly, light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses contributed significantly to overall sales in June, showing a year-on-year increase of 57.1% or 5,070 units.

Volkswagen (VW) also remains the second most popular brand, with 5,578 units sold, while Suzuki is third, with 4,335 units sold.

Toyota comprised 27.8% of all vehicles sold last month. This is well above the combined sales of VW (11.9%) and Suzuki (9.2%), which comprised 21.1% of all vehicles sold.

Of the total reported industry sales of 46,810 vehicles, 83.5% were represented by dealer sales, 10% to the vehicle rental industry, 3.5% to the government, and 3% to corporate industry fleets.

The top 10 brands that sold the most cars locally in June 2023 were:

  1. Toyota – 13,016 units
  2. Volkswagen Group – 5,578 units
  3. Suzuki – 4,335 units
  4. Hyundai – 2,645 units
  5. Ford – 2,514 units
  6. Nissan – 2,380 units
  7. Isuzu – 2,365 units
  8. Renault – 1,836 units
  9. Haval – 1,749 units
  10. Kia – 1,507 units

2023 expectations

The unexpected extent of the upswing in the new vehicle market during June 2023, for the second month in a row, exceeded expectations, despite ongoing increases in the total cost of ownership, said Naamsa.

While some segments show record year-on-year growth, the most popular segment for South Africans – new passenger vehicles – remained relatively stagnant.

Challenges confronting the economy and the automotive industry, such as high-interest rates, high inflation, and currency depreciation, continue to strain consumers’ budgets, and affordability appears to be driving new vehicle sales, said Naamsa.

However, the head of marketing and communications at WesBank, Lebo Gaoaketse, added that there is hope for better news for the economy and consumers during the second half of the year.

“More stable fuel prices, fewer, if any, interest rate changes, first-half growth for the manufacturing sector and a strong recovery in exchange rates will all contribute to economic performance as a whole during the second half, as well as affordability for consumers in the market for a new vehicle.,” he said.

Best-selling models 

The Toyota Hilux remained firmly on top in June 2023, selling 3,792 units.

Additionally, Toyota boasted five models in the top 10 best-selling cars – which included the Hilux (1st), Toyota Corolla Cross (2nd), Toyota Fortuner (7th), Toyota Starlet (8th), and the Toyota Hi-Ace (9th).

Following its one-month reign at the top in April, the new Ford Ranger ranked 3rd in June, selling 2,099 units.

The second and third most popular brands, VW and Suzuki, also featured models in the top ten – the VW Polo Vivo (4th) and the Suzuki Swift (6th), with the latter moving up two places from May 2023.

The top 11 best-selling models, including the abovementioned models, and how many units were sold in June 2023 are listed below.

1. Toyota Hilux – 3,792 units sold

  • Starting price: R356,600

2. Toyota Corolla Cross – 2,115 units sold

  • Starting price: R404,400

3. Ford Ranger – 2,099 units sold

  • Starting price: R494,400

4. VW Polo Vivo – 1,967 units sold

  • Starting price: R248,500

5. Isuzu D-Max – 1,953 units sold

  • Starting price: R431,800

6. Suzuki Swift – 1,685 units sold

  • Starting price: R199,900

7. Toyota Fortuner – 1,639 units sold

  • Starting price: R673,100

8. Toyota Starlet – 1,415 units sold

  • Starting price: R248,400

9. Toyota HiAce – 1,364 units sold

  • Starting price: R543,900

10. Nissan NP200 – 1,108 units sold

  • Starting price: R226,000

11. Hyundai Grand i10 – 894 units sold

  • Starting price: R229,900

Read: Car brands with the most problems – and the results might surprise you

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