The 10 best-selling car brands and models in South Africa at the end of 2023

 ·9 Dec 2023

While South Africa’s motor industry is taking a beating as customers contend with high lending rates, elevated inflation levels, and lower household income, there are still some clear brand and model favourites among those who found room to purchase a new car last month.

The Naamsa New Vehicle Sales stats show aggregate domestic new vehicle sales in November 2023 – at 45,075 units – reflected a decline of 4,911 units, or a fall of 9.8% from the 49,986 vehicles sold in November 2022.

Additionally, the November 2023 new passenger car market at 29,384 units had registered a significant decline of 4,052 cars, or a loss of 12.1%, compared to the new cars sold in November 2022.

Adding to this is the 3.9% fall in domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies, and mini-buses, and the 13.5% loss in sales in the medium commercial vehicle segment.

Naamsa added that the new vehicle market bore its most significant losses during November since the beginning of 2021 when the market was beginning its slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sales were 1.3% below the pre-pandemic level of 2019 at the beginning of 2023. For the year to date, it was now 0.6% ahead of the same period in 2022, which means that, depending on the December sales figures, it could miss out on returning to the pre-pandemic level after three years,” it said.

Despite this, Toyota retained its number one spot on the best-sellers list, selling 11,891 units last month, a slight decrease from October’s 12,440 units.

It’s worth noting that Volkswagen (VW) has maintained its position as the second most popular brand, even though it experienced a decline of approximately 1,000 units. VW recorded 6,595 sales in October, but this number dropped to 5,513 sales in November.

Meanwhile, Suzuki’s sales also decreased, but on a much smaller scale. The brand sold 4,368 units in November compared to 4,480 units in the previous month, allowing it to secure the third position in the list of top-sellers for November.

Toyota comprised 26.4% of all vehicles sold last month. This is well above the combined sales of VW (12.2%) and Suzuki (9.7%), which comprised 21.9% of all vehicles sold.

Of the total reported industry sales of 45,075 vehicles, 84.8% were represented by dealer sales, 9.5% by the vehicle rental industry, 3.1% by the government, and 2.6% by corporate industry fleets.

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

  1. Toyota – 11,891 units
  2. Volkswagen Group – 5,513 units
  3. Suzuki – 4,368 units
  4. Ford – 2,910 units
  5. Nissan – 2,779 units
  6. Hyundai – 2,532 units
  7. Isuzu – 2,109 units
  8. Renault – 1,802 units
  9. Haval – 1,556 units
  10. Kia – 1,548 units

Best-selling models 

The Toyota Hilux was the most popular choice among South African car buyers in November, with 3,073 sales, which is significantly higher than any other new vehicle on the market.

Additionally, Toyota boasted four models in the top 10 best-selling cars – which included the Hilux (1st), Toyota Corolla Cross (4th), Toyota Hi-Ace (6th), and the Toyota Starlet (7th).

The Ford Ranger saw 2,234 sales – placing second overall, while the VW Polo Vivo gained 1,913 new owners to secure third place.

The second and third most popular brands, VW and Suzuki, also featured models in the top ten – the VW Polo Vivo (3rd) and the Suzuki Swift (9th).

The top 10 best-selling models, including the abovementioned models, and how many units were sold in November 2023 are listed below.

1. Toyota Hilux – 3,073 units sold

  • Starting price: R356,600

2. Ford Ranger – 2,234 units sold

  • Starting price: R494,400

3. VW Polo Vivo – 1,913 units sold

  • Starting price: R255,600

4. Toyota Corolla Cross – 1,766 units sold

  • Starting price: R408,400

5. Isuzu D-Max – 1,662 units sold

  • Starting price: R431,800

6. Toyota HiAce – 1,549 units sold

  • Starting price: R543,900

7. Toyota Starlet – 1,176 units sold

  • Starting price: R252,100

8. Nissan NP200 – 1,152 units sold

  • Starting price: R234,000

9. Suzuki Swift – 1,117 units sold

  • Starting price: R199,900

10. Hyundai Grand i10 – 1,002 units sold

  • Starting price: R234,500

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