South Africa’s motoring sector is off to a slow start in 2024, as it recorded its sixth consecutive month of reduced sales.
A total of 41,636 vehicle purchases were recorded, marking a decline of 1,658 units (3.8%) compared to the first month of 2023, according to Naamsa.
Toyota is still on top in the local rankings, though the 10,855 units it sold in January are lower than the 11,200 units it sold at the end of last year.
Similarly, VW was able to hold onto second place with a still impressive 5,522 units sold, though this too is lower than the month prior.
Suzuki, on the other hand, saw a massive leap in sales, going from 3,355 units in December to 5,235 units last month, putting it within a shot of VW’s position and well ahead of the fourth-place holder.
Speaking of which, Ford was able to take back fourth place from Hyundai with 2,420 units moved, while the Korean brand dropped back down to sixth place with 2,185 units, with Nissan now comfortably sitting in fifth with 2,315 units.
The rising star of January’s sales was Chery, which launched its way into the top 10 and actually secured ninth place, pushing Kia out of the list and beating out Renault, who came seventh last month and is now in the 10th spot.
The other two brands that did well over the last 31 days included Isuzu and Haval, who both managed to find more than 1,400 new customers, though this wasn’t enough to see them rising into the top 10.
Of all the cars sold in January, 35,108 units (84.3%) were attributed to dealership sales, while another 11.5% went to the rental industry, 2.2% to corporate fleets, and 2.0% to the government.
The passenger car market was responsible for 28,790 units, marking a decline of 2,073 units (6.7%) compared to January 2023. The story is more positive for light-commercial vehicles like bakkies and taxis, which saw a 2.3% gain of 248 units to reach a total of 10,871 units.
Lastly, exports were also down with 20,242 units being sent overseas – a loss of 442 units (2.1%) compared to what was shipped in the same month last year.
Naamsa’s explanation is that the new-vehicle market is still battling the effects of current economic conditions that are discouraging consumers from making big purchases, such as high inflation and food prices.
This is compounded by load shedding and the backlog at South Africa’s ports, making it harder for manufacturers to bring in cars and materials and to export finished goods.
Best-selling car brands in South Africa
Detailed below are the best-selling car brands in South Africa for the month of January 2024.
Click on the underlined names for more information on a particular manufacturer’s vehicle line-up, pricing, and specifications.