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Best-selling cars brands in South Africa in January

The National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) has stated the new car market in South Africa in January 2021 has seen an 18% drop in sales compared to the same time in 2020.

NADA is a professional body representing over 1,300 motor dealerships in the country, and includes 85% of the new vehicle franchised outlets.

“The light commercial vehicle market (bakkies and mini-buses) was only 4.9% lower month-on-month, with medium truck sales unchanged, and sales of heavy trucks and buses up by 6.6%, indicating that there are still vehicles needed by businesses – but car-buying consumers are delaying new passenger car purchases,” said the association.

The total retail sales for January amounted to 34,784 units – down 13.9%, or 5,629 units, compared to the previous month.

This made it the lowest industry total since August 2020.

Sales through the dealer channel accounted for 82.6% of the total vehicle sales, which is the lowest percentage since the first lockdown in March 2020.

NADA noted that the continued lockdown, as well as the second wave of infections, has resulted in a great deal of consumer uncertainty – which reflected in the disappointing sales in all sectors of the economy during the recent festive season.


A positive result, however, was in the export of vehicles .

Export sales in January amounted to 22,771 units, which reflected an increase of 6,468 units or 39.7% compared to the 16,303 vehicles exported in January 2020.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) added that new car trading conditions during the first quarter of 2021 are expected to remain challenging, considering the positive correlation between new car sales and GDP growth.

We may see a rebound in the new car market as we progress through the year, stated NAAMSA.

Additionally, 2020 witnessed the lowest aggregate new car sales in the country for 18 years.

Sales numbers

A breakdown of the January 2021 new vehicles numbers stats by brand, as provided by NAAMSA, is listed below.

  • Toyota – 8,913
  • VW – 5,822
  • Ford – 2,668
  • Hyundai – 2,598
  • Nissan – 2,038
  • Suzuki – 1,861
  • Renault – 1,400
  • Mercedes-Benz – 942*
  • Kia – 1,256
  • Isuzu – 958
  • Haval – 976
  • BMW – 902
  • Mazda – 773
  • Mahindra – 569
  • Jaguar Land Rover – 302


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