Incremental gains for new vehicle sales, but still way down on pre-Covid numbers
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Major supply issues across significant light commercial vehicle brands due to Covid-19 restrictions, plus the run-out of some key models, resulted in a 22.6% reduction in LCV sales from dealers’ doors.
Mark Dommisse, chair of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association, told The Corner in a media release: “Demand seems to be outstripping certain LCV supply lines. This isn’t an ideal situation – yet it could be worse if things were the other way around.”
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA reported total aggregate new-vehicle sales (38 752 in October) were 25.4% fewer than the 51 968 sold in October 2019 but the 2020 year-to-date situation is even more gloomy with 196 664 units – 32.5% fewer at the same stage last year.
Dommisse added: “Interesting is that medium and heavy truck and bus sales did marginally better. The improved showing by the heavier commercial vehicle segment signals a measure of improving confidence and this is where we are expecting significant growth once the government’s infrastructure development programme gets under way.
“Dealers are enjoying strong demand for quality used vehicles but supply is problematic. This situation has worsened thanks to limited stock from rental companies which de-stocked earlier in the year when demand for hire cars fell drastically.
“On the brighter side, several marketing incentive programmes are running at local dealers as we head for the holiday season. It’s a good time, with interest rates still low, for buyers.”