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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  05 Feb 2010

MOTORING: January Car Sales Positive But Could Be Misleading

 





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New vehicle sales sprang into buoyant action in January according to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa). Albeit in a month often skewed by roll-over purchases out of December, the results show significant gains and start the decade in some of the most positive light the market has seen for some time.

Total market sales for January increased 15,4% on the already depressed January 2009, but showed strong growth (25%) over December. “Even taking into account that December sales were 7,2% down on the previous year, with some of that slowdown no doubt accounting for January sales, the start to 2010 is reassuring,” says vice president Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Jacques Brent.

Passenger car sales rocketed 41% up over December sales and were 20,1% higher than January 2009. Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales remained fairly stagnant month on month, but grew 9,2% on the same month last year.

“The market should be careful not to become over-zealous by the strong numbers,” warned Brent. “January figures remain skewed by delayed purchase decisions out of 2009. While there is clearly growth being experienced, and what many industry players are planning for in their forecasts, February will display a better indication of where the market may progress to.”

FMCSA expects some recovery during 2010 albeit small. “First quarter sales usually average out on what the market could expect to achieve, but dealers are faced with good January sales, the challenge of February being a short trading month and March reduced by a public holiday,” says Brent. “While the picture looks positive, a sturdier foundation off which to call a decisive trend in sales will hopefully become visible from March onwards.”


 
 
 
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