JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – April new-vehicle sales here in South Africa were dormant through April, the first month of the country’s anti-Covid-19 invasion and consequent business shutdown.
Some worked remotely, but stuck-at-home potential buyers were in any case not allowed to cruise for test drives. The auto trade was comatose..
The whole market recorded 574 unit sales, down 98.4% according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA, broken down to 105 cars and 318 light commercials – further worsening year-to-date volumes to 28.1% and 38.5% respectively.
The industry total is 32.1% down for the year to date and WesBank’s head of marketing, Lebogang Gaoaketse, told The Corner: “In this unprecedented time the motor industry is experiencing uncharted conditions and grappling with solutions. The global consequences of this pandemic will be immense for some time to come.
“How the motor industry adapts will define how drastic the changes will be but the industry will be looking to re-start operations sooner rather than later.
“The industry’s 6.9% contribution to GDP means many jobs are potentially affected, across manufacturing and retail, as is foreign currency revenue from exports’ and automakers will be looking for renewed consumer demand before returning to full production.”
Numerous factors, The Corner was told, will stimulate the slow resumption of activity – among them reductions in fuel costs.