NADA happy with positive direction of market

The new vehicle sales figures for November 2021 are indicative of the positive direction the market has been taking this year, says the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA).

Mark Dommisse National Chairperson NADA

Mark Dommisse, the chairperson of NADA, says there were improvements in all market segments in terms of sales at dealer level last month compared with the sales statistics for November 2020.

Dommisse added that the market is holding up surprisingly well despite a number of factors that Nada believed would have resulted in a slowdown in new vehicle business.

Aggregate domestic new vehicle sales increased by 6.6% to 41 588 units last month from the 39 015 units sold in November 2020 and grew 1% month-on-month from sales registered in October this year.

“This is far better than we had expected, particularly with the arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID Southern Africa being placed on a travel Red List by many countries.

“In fact, the going rate for new vehicle sales actually kicked up at the end of the month,” he says.

Dommisse added that dealers had another good month, with an encouraging 84.2% or 35 014 units of total sales going through the retail channel.

He says there was a small drop off in sales to the vehicle rental industry to 11.4% in November 2021 compared to the previous month but car rental sales accounted for an impressive 15.6% of passenger car sales.

Sales of new passenger cars increased year-on-year in November 2021 by 9.4% to 27 828 units, light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses sales declined by 0.8% to 11 156 units, medium commercial vehicle sales increased by 22.1% to 779 units and heavy truck and bus sales improved by 8.1% to 1 825 units.

Dommisse attributed the relatively stagnant light commercial vehicle sales to shortages of product, with a major player in the market, Ford Ranger, undergoing a full model change.

He says the various truck categories all showed increases, which is “a good indicator that the economy is recovering”.

Dommisse says what is particularly encouraging as the industry moves towards the end of 2021 is that year-to-date total vehicle sales are 24.8% ahead of the figure for the same 11-month period last year, with all market segments with the exception of buses showing significant improvements.

However, Dommisse anticipates that sales in December 2021 and January 2022 will reflect the negative effect of the arrival of the new Covid-19 variant, the huge increases in fuel prices and the impact of the weaker rand on vehicle pricing.

“Dealers will need to be focused and resourceful during what will be a testing sales period.

“But consumers can expect some special offers as manufacturers and distributors seek to meet annual sales targets,” he says.

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