The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has released its October 2020 new vehicle stats which showed an increase in sales.
While the higher sales volumes are good news for the South African automotive industry, Naamsa CEO Mikel Mabasa warned that the country is not out of the woods yet.
“While vehicle exports are making a steady comeback, we remain cautiously anxious about the reports of a COVID-19 second wave across Europe which could further depress our overall outlook for the balance of this year”, said Mabasa.
Looking at the October 2020 figures, the domestic sales of 38,752 units represents a decline of 13,216 units, or 25.4%, from the 51,968 vehicles sold in October last year.
Export sales at 33,474 units also declined by 7,792 units or 18.9% compared to the 41,266 vehicles exported in October 2019.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 38,752 vehicles, an estimated 32,478 units or 83.8% represented dealer sales.
9.4% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3.8% sales to government, and 3.0% to industry corporate fleets.
The October 2020 new passenger car market at 26,793 units had registered a decline of 9,106 cars or a fall of 25.4% compared to the 35,899 new cars sold in October 2019.
The car rental industry accounted for an encouraging 12.8% of car sales in October 2020.
Naamsa said South Africa’s economy remains fragile and while it would slowly regain momentum, tough months were still ahead before business and consumer confidence was rebuilt.
The year to date sales figures tells a dismal story now reflecting a decline of 146,261 units, or 32.5% compared to the corresponding period last year.
Going forward, interest rates at an all-time low could assist some businesses and consumers from an affordability point of view.
However, the sentiment expressed by the Naamsa CEOs relating to automotive business conditions over the next six months by and large remains pessimistic.
“With the easing of lockdown restrictions, the new normal has begun as the country will ease gradually into rebuilding the economy,” he said.
New vehicle sales
The image below provides an overview of new vehicle sales in South Africa in October 2020.