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Exceptional gains in new car, light commercial and bus sales were recorded for February 2010, as opposed to the same period in 2009, according to the new vehicle sales statistics of February 2009 from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA).
The low sales levels during 2009 reflected the impact of the global financial crisis at the time, but despite the low base last year, it is encouraging that total industry sales for the first two months of 2010 were 18% ahead of last year. This is one of the best starts to the calendar year of 2010, with 39312 vehicles sold in South Africa and 14123 exported.
2010 has exceeded expectations for new passenger car sales and at 26 009 units reflects a massive improvement compared to the 20 403 new cars sold during February, 2009 when sales had been very depressed due to the global credit crunch.
The Chinese-owned Toyota manufacturer was the most popular brand for February 2010 with more than 8 000 vehicles sold in South Africa and more than 5 000 overseas. Volkswagen came second with 5 000+ vehicles in South Africa and 3 000+ overseas. True to its exclusive status, Lamborghini sold only one Murcielago in February 2010.
Interestingly, bus sales has expanded year on year by a remarkable 71,0% in unit terms, selling 183 in February alone. Mercedes-Benz SA sold the majority of the buses, boosting its sales with 123 vehicles to the impressive sales figure of 2 399 vehicles. This puts Mercedes-Benz SA in fifth place, after GMSA with 3 800+ vehicles and FMC with 3 500+
Exports of South African produced vehicles has registered a decline of 5,1% for the month. Taking into account the indications of a revival in demand for South African-produced motor vehicles, export sales are expected to improve in the months ahead. At this stage, manufacturer’s projections suggested that overall industry export sales could grow with a very optimistic 32%.
The motoring industry, as all industries in the world at the moment, are hopeful that sales will gain momentum when economic activity levels improved further. Demand by the car rental industry is expected to be particularly strong in the run-up to the Soccer World Cup. Export sales should also show further improvement over the balance of the year.
Following the severe recession in domestic sales from the middle of 2006 through to the end of 2008, it was apparent that the automotive market in South Africa was at an early stage of what would hopefully represent a sustainable recovery.
Business News Sector Tags: Motoring|