South African car prices have shot up over the past few years, so much so that starting prices of certain vehicles launched earlier in 2022 are already noticeably higher than a few months before.
One such example is the flagship Range Rover, whose starting price went up by over R101,000 between March and June 2022, whereas the SUV is only expected to land in South African showrooms toward the end of the year.
Rising car prices might be a common occurrence and generally happen at least annually, but it’s not often that prices are pushed up this soon after launching a car and by this wide range of manufacturers.
While part of this price increase can be attributed to low stock levels and supply shortages, a big proportion of it can also be explained by the rise in prices of raw materials and shipping since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020.
Not only are raw materials such as lithium for batteries, metals for parts, and rubber for tyres harder than ever to come by, they are also more expensive and are expected to remain at these levels for years to come.
Lithium prices are up 119% since the start of 2022 standing at roughly R16,200 per tonne on 20 June, this affecting standard, hybrid, and all-electric vehicles.
Prices of steel and aluminium also skyrocketed to reach R61,700/tonne during March although they have come down since then to levels of R40,600/tonne, which is still nearly double what the prices were before the first lockdown started in 2020.
Rubber had a smaller but still significant rally in 2022, shooting up from R31,200/tonne in January to now be priced at R33,400/tonne.
Shipping costs and times have also increased partly due to the Russia-Ukraine invasion, making it even more difficult to get both the components as well as the built-up vehicles to their end destinations around the world.
These factors have caused automakers to streamline production and shift focus on top-of-the-line vehicles to bring in profits, these being the models that also use the most raw materials in their production and are therefore the most affected by inflating prices.
It’s also mostly high-end cars that have been on the receiving end of recent price hikes in South Africa, although budget-focused models have not been immune to it, either.
Detailed below are vehicles that launched in South Africa in 2022 that have already received starting price increases.
Click on the underlined prices for more information.