South Africa’s vehicle sales take a hit

 ·16 May 2024

South Africa’s motor trade sales took a hit in March 2024, sporting a double-digit annual decline.

According to StatsSA’s latest report, motor trade sales for March 2024 (measured in real terms by constant 2019 prices) decreased by 10.4% year-on-year, 7% month-on-month, and 2.9% quarter-on-quarter.

Key growth rates in motor trade sales at constant 2019 prices. Source: StatsSA

The largest negative annual growth rates were recorded for:

  • New vehicle sales (-23,7%);
  • Workshop income (-14,3%);
  • Sales of accessories (-9,9%); and
  • Used vehicle sales (-9,3%).

The largest negative contributors to the year-on-year (YoY) decrease were:

  • New vehicle sales (contributing -6,2 percentage points);
  • Sales of accessories (contributing -2,0 percentage points); and
  • Used vehicle sales (contributing -1,9 percentage points).
Motor trade sales at constant 2019 prices. Source: StatsSA

The only type activity that saw positive YoY percentage change was income from fuel sales, which increased by 0.4%.

Looking at data from Automotive Business Council, Naamsa, April 2024 saw a growth in the new vehicle market after eight consecutive months of decline.

However, looking at year to date data, domestic sales sit at 168,970 (-3.96% YoY), exports sit at 105,058 (-9,09% YoY), domestic production at 137,493 (-2.29% YoY), and imports at 74,969 (-9.3% YoY).

These results echo a tough 2023 for South Africa’s motor trade industry.

Naamsa previously said that “the country’s weak economic growth rate, although still marginally positive, remains a key challenge for the new vehicle market going forward in view of the close correlation between new vehicle sales and the GDP growth rate.”

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