CAPE TOWN, South Africa – People in South Africa are driving into 2022 under the threat of even higher fuel prices and lending interest rates but have stuck a middle finger out of their cars’ windows and sun-roofs.
Nope, they’ve waded deep into the wheels market with Naamsa reporting an almost 20% increase over the data released in January a year earlier at 41 382 new vehicle sales. Lebogang Gaoaketse of marketing and communication at WesBank told The Corner:
‘WE REMAINED POSITIVE’
“January new-vehicle sales started 2022 by continuing momentum created during the second half of 2021. Some December purchase decisions may have been deferred but January sales provided a solid start to the year – encouraging for automakers and dealers.
”WesBank remained positive for a continued slow recovery through 2022.”
Gaoaketse continued with his thesis…
“The 2021 annual market was greater by 22.1% to 464 122 units over severely affected 2020 (380 206) so provided additional support for January’s performance. Although the population had faced a second interest-rate increase since November and fuel-price increases continued confidence levels should continue to increase as pandemic regulations reduce.”
‘RENTAL MARKET GROWING TOO…’
Car and light-commercials sales had a positive start to 2022 – up by 26.6 and 3.8% respectively. Car sales outstripped the overall market – up by 33.7% so very positive sign of demand.
Sales into the rental market also indicate an increase in business confidence and a more positive outlook to tourism with sales in the channel up 21% during January.
“Gradual interest-rate increases are inevitable for the year from their record lows. Their effect should be considered within buying decisions and affordability,” says Gaoaketse. “Rising cost-of-living amid more slowly recovering earnings are expected to maintain pressure on household incomes.”