Vehicle sales in September registered strong gains, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAAMSA) said.
"[For] September 2011, aggregate industry domestic sales had improved by 12 539 units or 30% to reach 54 364 vehicles from 41 825 vehicles sold during September last year. Sales during the corresponding month last year had been severely depressed by stock shortages as a result of industrial action throughout the industry at the time," NAAMSA said on Tuesday, 4 October 2011.
To date, domestic sales in 2011 remained 16.2% ahead of the corresponding nine months in 2010. Export sales registered an improvement of 13 399 units compared with the strike-affected 12 534 exports in September 2010.
In September, total new car sales at 37 832 units reflected an increase of 26.2% compared with the 29 981 new cars sold in September last year. Sales in September showed a sharp improvement in growth momentum in the new car sales cycle.
The car rental industry supported strong demand in the new car market with the rental industry accounting for 21.4% of total new car sales.
Overall out of industry reported sales in September 2011 - of 54 364 vehicles, 77.8 % or 43 279 units represented dealers sales, 15.9% were sales to the car rental industry, 3.5% sales to government and 2.8% represented industry corporate fleet sales.
On-going improvement in the financial position of consumers on the back of relatively low interest rates, further improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms and the positive influence of aggressive marketing and sales incentive progress over the course of September are some of the reasons attributed to the strength of the new car market.
"In addition, consumers would have been encouraged to bring forward planned purchases in light of the risk of future price increases as a result of the recent substantial depreciation in the rand exchange rate," said NAAMSA.
At 14 006 units in September, sales of industry light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses exceeded expectations, showing a gain of 41.5% compared with the 9 897 units sold in the same month last year.
"For the first nine months of 2011, new light commercial vehicle sales were ahead by 10.9% compared with the corresponding period last year," said NAAMSA.
Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry at 854 units and 1 672 units, respectively, had recorded an increase of 38.4% in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and a gain of 25.7%, in the case of heavy trucks and buses, compared to September 2010.
The total year to date sales of medium, heavy commercials and buses remained 24.6% ahead of the corresponding nine months of 2010.
Exports of South African made motor vehicles, at 25 933 units in September 2011, showed an increase of 106.9% compared with the depressed base of 12 534 units exported in September 2010 when industry production for exports had been negatively affected by industrial action at the time.
"The latest sales figures had exceeded industry expectations and were cause for optimism. The new car market for 2011 was likely to show an improvement of about 15%, in volume terms, on the 2010 figures."
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