Straight A’s as new vehicle sales completes 2022 with a royal flush

January 9, 2023 0 By Cypher9ja



In a feat not seen for a number of years, South Africa’s new vehicle sales ended 2022 as it started it with a positive increase in December across all the various segments.

A result that translates to 12th months of consecutive increases despite record fuel price hikes, the flooding of Toyota Motors South Africa’s Prospecton Plant in April, as well as the continuing knock-off effects of the global semi-conductor shortages, rapidly rising costs of living, crippling load shedding, plus Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the resilience of the local market saw it post its third highest overall figure of 528 963 vehicles since 2019’s 536 612.

Post pandemic high

In addition to being the highest since the onset of the pandemic three years ago, the recovery also represented an uptake of 13.9% compared to the 464 493 vehicles sold in 2021.

Sector 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Percent change
2021/2022
Passenger Vehicles 365 247 355 379 246 541 304 341 363 092 +19.3%
Light Commercial Vehicles 159 525 153 221 110 912 133 077 135 666 +2.0%
Medium Commercial Vehicles 7 913 8 690 6 735 7 520 8 370 +11.3%
Heavy Commercial Vehicles 19 579 19 322 16 018 19 555 21 835 +11.7%
Total 552 227 536 612 380 206 464 493 528 963 +13.9%
Exports 351 139 387 092 271 288 298 020 351 450 +17.9%

December sales

As for December, the 41 783 vehicles shifted, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), signals a 16.2% increase from the 35 944 in December 2021, with new passenger vehicles climbing by 16.1% and light commercial vehicles by 16.1%.

Further down, medium-duty commercial vehicles posted a record uptake of 36.9%, while heavy-duty trucks and busses registered an increase of 23.1%. As in previous years, no exact figures were released.

A more difficult year saw exports round 2022 off in the black with an increase of 24.2% from 21 172 in December 2021 to 26 302.

NAAMSA reacts

“In South Africa, consumer price inflation reached a 13-year high, increasing to 7,8% in July 2022. As expected, the South African Reserve Bank in 2022 raised the interest rate for seven consecutive times since November 2021 and to its highest level since 2016.

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“The higher stages of load shedding also seemed to have an amplified negative impact on production and the South African economy as a whole.

“However, despite the myriad of negative economic pressures and ongoing stock supply shortages, the new vehicle market continued to outperform expectations in 2022,” NAAMSA said in a statement.

Despite the ongoing difficulties abroad and locally, the association said it expects 2023 to be similar to 2022, but with smaller percentage increases as a result of projected lower economic growth.

It also remarked, “A key priority focus for the South African government in 2023 is to finalise the support framework for new energy vehicles, considering the importance of timing of the interventions so that they were aligned with investment decisions and lead times of the OEMs when considering next-generation models”.

Toyota ends year at #1

Out of the country’s best performing automakers, Toyota kept its position at the top in December with sales of 11 250, followed by Volkswagen (5 331), Suzuki (3 058) and Hyundai (2 770).

Nissan rounded the year off with fifth place on 2 144 ahead of Ford on 1 948, Renault finishing seventh with sales 1 868, Haval eighth with 1 735, Kia ninth with 1 650 and Isuzu tenth on 1 607.