The 10 best-selling car brands and models in South Africa

 ·13 Jan 2024

Despite the challenges faced by South Africa’s motor industry due to high lending rates, elevated inflation levels, and lower household income, some brand and model favourites have emerged among customers who managed to purchase a new car in December last year.

The Naamsa New Vehicle Sales stats show aggregate domestic new vehicle sales in December 2023 – at 40,329 units – reflected a decline of 1,392 units, or a fall of 3.3% from the 41,721 vehicles sold in December 2022.

Additionally, the December 2023 new passenger car market and light commercial vehicle market reflected a weak performance with a year-on-year volume decline of 3.9% in the case of new passenger cars and a loss of 2.9% in the case of light commercial vehicles.

Adding to this is the sales of medium commercial vehicles, which declined year-on-year by 24.2%, while heavy commercial vehicles and buses increased by 13.9%.

Overall, the period under review has been challenging since it is our fifth consecutive month of year-on-year decline.

“the industry has not been able to out-perform the 2019 pre-pandemic levels yet, but we remain hopeful that 2024 will deliver a different outcome for new vehicle sales in South Africa”, said Mikel Mabasa, Naamsa CEO.

Despite this, Toyota remained the top-selling brand with 11,200 units sold last month, which is slightly lower than the previous month’s 11,891 units.

Although Volkswagen experienced a decline of just under 300 units, it maintained its position as the second most popular brand. In November, VW recorded 5,513 sales, but in December, this number dropped to 5,274 sales.

Toyota was the top-selling brand, accounting for 27.7% of all vehicles sold last month. Meanwhile, Suzuki experienced a decrease in sales, selling 3,355 units compared to 4,368 units in the previous month.

This allowed Suzuki to secure the third position on the list of top sellers last month.

The combined sales of VW and Suzuki accounted for 21.3% of all vehicles sold, which is well below Toyota’s sales percentage. VW had a 13% share of sales, while Suzuki had 8.3%.

Of the total reported industry sales of 40,329 vehicles, 88% were represented by dealer sales, 8.7% by the vehicle rental industry, 2.2% by the government, and 1.1% by corporate industry fleets.

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

  1. Toyota – 11,200 units
  2. Volkswagen Group – 5,274 units
  3. Suzuki – 3,355 units
  4. Hyundai – 2,569 units
  5. Ford – 2,489 units
  6. Nissan – 1,900 units
  7. Renault – 1,864 units
  8. Haval – 1,480 units
  9. Isuzu – 1,434 units
  10. Kia – 1,415 units

Best-selling models 

In December, the Toyota Hilux was the most preferred vehicle among South African car buyers, with 3,073 sales, which is significantly higher than any other new vehicle available in the market.

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

The Ford Ranger came in second place with 2,234 sales, while the VW Polo Vivo gained 1,913 new buyers to secure the third spot.

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

The top 10 best-selling models, including the above-mentioned models, and the number of units sold in December 2023 are listed below.

1. Toyota Hilux – 2,858 units sold

  • Starting price: R356,600

2. VW Polo Vivo – 2,448 units sold

  • Starting price: R255,600

3. Ford Ranger – 1,936 units sold

  • Starting price: R494,400

4. Toyota Corolla Cross – 1,932 units sold

  • Starting price: R408,400

5. Toyota Vitz – 1,358 units

  • Starting price: R189,900

6. Toyota HiAce – 1,549 units sold

  • Starting price: R543,900

7. Isuzu D-Max – 1,023 units sold

  • Starting price: R431,800

8. Toyota Starlet – 1,013 units sold

  • Starting price: R252,100

9. Suzuki Swift – 967 units sold

  • Starting price: R205,900

10. Renault Triber – 901 units sold

  • Starting price: R228,999

Read: Petrol prices take a turn for the worse in South Africa

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