“The South African motor industry continues to astound, not only industry commentators on the outside, but also people working in the industry, with its tremendous ability to overcome setbacks and disruptions,” says Nada chairperson, Mark Dommisse.
“Sales in April 2022 exceeded those in April 2021 by 4.3% against all odds when one considers the effects of the massive flooding and subsequent disruptions in KwaZulu-Natal, fewer selling days owing to the many public holidays, as well as school holidays and the ongoing restricted vehicle supply because of the worldwide shortage of semiconductors,” he says.
Dommisse adds that the trading environment in South Africa also continues to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which results in many component and vehicle manufacturing factories all over the world being shut down intermittently, and the negative effects of the conflict in Ukraine on component supply.
He says not only did total sales of 37 107 units reflect an increase of 1 516 units from April 2021, but export sales managed to grow by 16% despite major problems with road transport and severe disruptions at the port of Durban.
“It was heartening to see that 32 809 units, or 88.4% of new vehicle sales, moved through the dealer retail channel during the month, while the rental industry played a key role in contributing 9.1% to total sales and a significant 12.5% to the passenger car market,” he says.
WesBank says South Africa’s motor industry is waiting with bated breath in anticipation of new vehicle sales statistics for April 2022 to see if the impressive sales results in March 2022 were anomalous or indicative of the start of a substantial growth trend.
New vehicle sales in March 2022 broke through the 50 000-unit sales volume mark last experienced in October 2019.
However, WesBank says the new-vehicle market in April 2022 faced a few more challenges than usual as it attempted to maintain pace.
The bank says the traditional impact of many public holidays during the month reduces the number of selling days but the unexpected devastation of flooding in KwaZulu-Natal caused the most disruption to the market’s “fitful recovery”.
These local challenges continue to be amplified by the ongoing global impacts of COVID-19 and the Eastern European conflict, resulting in little reprieve from supply constraints, it says.
New vehicle sales in April 2022 grew year-on-year by 4.3% to 37 107 units but were unable to match the exceptional sales achieved in March 2022.
However, WesBank Head of Marketing and Communication, Lebogang Gaoaketse, says the market should not be dismayed by the sales result in April 2022.
“Volatility is the only constant within the market, which was especially impacted by erratic supply beyond the manufacturers’ control.
“April’s volumes remain on the high end of last year’s performance and therefore shouldn't be cause for any alarm,” he says.
Gaoaketse adds that the year-to-date picture continues to look positive, with the market showing growth of 14.8% to 173 299 units from the 151 022 units sold in the same four-month period in 2021.
“While this is largely thanks to the strong first quarter, the market is expected to continue its erratic recovery throughout the year,” he says.