Sales figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) has revealed that the Volkswagen Group South Africa has maintained its top position in the new passenger car market for 2012. Volkswagen reported total sales of 8 689 units.
During July 2012, 37 844 new passenger cars were sold in South Africa. The market increased by 5.4% when compared to the June 2012 market. It grew by 18.2% when compared to July 2011, bringing the January to July 2012 market to a level 9.7% above the same period for 2011.
Support from rental car companies
"In July, the new car market performed in line with our expectation with continued buoyancy in sales characterising the performance of the market," said Mike Glendinning, director of sales and marketing at Volkswagen. "This was supported by demand from rental car companies, which accounted for around 16% of the new car market in July. The selling rate of new cars per day during the month increased to the second highest level for 2012."
"Polo Vivo continues to be our top perfomer and in July it was once again the best-selling brand in South Africa with 3 449 units. Polo was the second best-seller in the passenger car market with 2 459 units. Both brands have been market leaders in the A0 segment for past seven months in spite of the introduction of new models in the most competitive segment in the country," Glendinning said.
The Audi brand sold 1 433 units its highest sales ever recorded in July and increased its share of the premium market to 21.6%. The top seller was the A4 Sedan/Avant which sold 429 units. Volkswagen commercial vehicles sold 720 units and 477 of these units were Amarok single and double cab models.
Positive effect of lower interest rates
"The continued strength in demand for new cars is interesting given that most indicators are reflecting a slowdown in economic activity with almost all analysts and institutions having reduced their forecasts of economic growth for the year. The surprise reduction in interest rates during July may have stimulated last months sales. This interest rate reduction as well as the ongoing decline in real new vehicle prices should have a positive effect on vehicle sales," Glendinning added.
"Despite a possible slowdown in the rate of growth in the new car sales cycle during the second half of 2012, the market will in all probability be strongly supported by sales to rental car companies during the next three months, a regular seasonal phenomenon, and the new car market for the full year could well end up around 10% higher than the market recorded in 2011," he concluded.
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