Tuesday, 4 August 2009


South African vehicle sales for the month of July saw yet another dip. This time the total market was some 25.9% down year-on-year. But at the same time July represented the second-best sales month of 2009 after March. Just 34 503 new vehicles were sold in July 2009 with passenger cars accounting for 22 058 of those. That is 3.5% higher than June 2009. Light commercial vehicles such as bakkies (pickup) and others declined 23% on July 2008 figures, with volumes reaching 10 711 units.

“Based on these latest trends it appears as if the downward trend in new vehicle sales has been arrested,” said Brand Pretorius, CE of McCarthy Limited. “Unfortunately demand from private individuals remains subdued, as potential customers remain cautious with regard to taking on new debt.”

“Given the additional selling days in July, its too early to make the call that the industry has stopped the roller coaster ride downwards, but we are encouraged by the performance of the commercial segments. August month will be an indicator,” said Malcolm Gauld, GMSA Vice President for Sales and Marketing.

Gauld should be encouraged; his Corsa Utility bakkie has been the country’s best-selling half-tonner for 52 consecutive months. In July 2009 it moved 1 375 units.

Ford Motor Company is equally optimistic that the market is soon to turn.

“The market is beginning to show tangible signs of stability at or near the bottom of this difficult cycle,” says Vice President Sales and Marketing, FMCSA, Jacques Brent. “While we cannot expect a turn-around in the near term, it is reassuring for retailers that volumes are less volatile, and indeed on a marginally positive trend currently, which will assist them greatly in their business planning.”

Here are the top 10 sellers for July 2009 in the passenger and LCV categories. Units in brackets:


1. Volkswagen CitiGolf (1 630)

2. Toyota Corolla (1 315)

3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1 030)

4. Volkswagen Polo (979)

5. BMW 3 Series (871)

6. Volkswagen Polo Classic (754)

7. Toyota Fortuner (700)

8. Chevrolet Aveo (668)

9. Toyota Yaris (489)

10. Ford Fiesta (488)


1. Toyota Hilux (2 653)

2. Opel Corsa Utility (1 375)

3. Toyota Quantum (963)

4. Isuzu KB (886)

5. Nissan NP300 Hardbody (862)

6. Nissan NP200 (708)

7. Ford Ranger (666)

8. Ford Bantam (577)

9. Mazda BT-50 (271)

10. Mitsubishi Triton (201)

SOURCE: the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa