Weak start to 2024 new car sales

“A weak start to the new year” was how naamsa CEO Mikel MABASA described new vehicle sales activity in January.

“The lingering effects of cost-of-living increases, dampened consumer and business confidence combined with the country’s port challenges and persistent load shedding continued to undermine the new vehicle market’s recovery path,” said the leader of the national automotive business council.

Aggregate domestic new vehicle sales in January 2024 were 41,636 units, reflecting a decline of 1,658 units, or a fall of 3.8% from the 43,294 vehicles sold in January 2023. The trend continued the five consecutive months of decline up to the end of 2023.

Export sales recorded a decline of 442 units, or 2.1%, to 20,242 units in January 2024 compared to the 20,684 vehicles exported in January 2023. The January 2024 new passenger car market at 28,790 units had registered a decline of 2,073 cars, or a loss of 6.7%, compared to the 30,863 new cars sold in January 2023. Car rental sales accounted for a sound 15.0% of the new passenger vehicles sales.

Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses at 10,871 units during January 2024 had recorded an increase of 248 units, or a gain of 2.3%, from the 10,623 light commercial vehicles sold during January 2023.

Sales for the medium commercial vehicle segment at 520 units reflected an increase of 61 units, or a gain of 13.3%, compared to the 459 medium vehicle sales recorded in the same period last year. The heavy truck and bus segments of the industry reflected a positive performance during the month at 1,455 units, which is an increase of 106 vehicles, or a gain of 7.9%, compared to the 1,349 units sold during the corresponding month last year.

The January 2024 exports sales number at 20,242 units reflected a loss of 442 vehicles, or 2.1%, compared to the 20,684 vehicles exported in January 2023.