Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  17 Aug 2010

MOTORING: Private and Fleet Buyers Re-entering SA Car Market


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There is concrete evidence that both private and fleet buyers are re-entering the South African car market in meaningful numbers, according to the chief executive of McCarthy, Brand Pretorius, in his analysis of the July sales figures released by Naamsa.

“As far as private customers are concerned there is an encouraging improvement in the credit application approval ratio, while there is also some pre-emptive buying by both fleet and private customers in anticipation of the introduction of the Carbon Dioxide Tax on September 1, which is expected to lead to an average price increase of 2.5% on new cars,” added Pretorius.

“In overall terms the new vehicle market retained momentum as evidenced by a 3,7% improvement over sales recorded in June as well as an increase of 20% over the figure for July last year, which is admittedly coming off a low base. However, this upward trend is encouraging and significantly better than we anticipated at the beginning of the year with the total market showing a year-to-date improvement of 23,3%.”

Brand Pretorius went on to say that the passenger car segment was the star performer in July, with substantial year-to-date growth of 28,6%, while the car market in July this year showed an increase of 32,4% over the corresponding month in 2009.

However, he added that in contrast to the positive situation in the car market the commercial segments are not displaying the same improvement either month on month of year to date.

Light commercial sales were 3,7% down month on month, but 14,6% up year-to-date. Medium commercials were 10,4% better this July than in the same month last year, but year-to-date this market is virtually static. Heavy trucks and buses showed a sales decline of 1% month-on-month, but are still 13,6% up on a year-to-date comparison.

Pretorius explained that the buying behaviour in the commercial vehicle segments tends to be more rational and represents an accurate reflection of the current fragile levels of business confidence and subdued levels of business activity.

“It is gratifying that the motor industry has recorded an excellent start to the second half of 2010 and it appears the positive sentiment created by the success of the FIFA Football World Cup soccer has also benefitted the local motor industry and it bodes well for the rest of the year,” concluded the McCarthy chief executive.

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