Top sellers also most popular in used car market

Car dealers have been stocking up on vehicles that are in high demand by in-market car shoppers in the past six months, according to AutoTrader.

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AutoTrader bases this finding on the fact that the top 10 most listed vehicles during the past six months accounted for 27% of total car stocks and the 10 most supplied vehicles made up the typical list of most sold used cars.

The 2021 AutoTrader Mid-Year Industry Report, which covers the first six months of this year, said the top 10 most listed vehicles during the past six months were the Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Toyota Corolla Quest, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Fortuner.

It said more than 633 000 cars were listed on AutoTrader in the six months to end-June 2021.

However, the report said there was a 4% year-on-year reduction in available stock.

It added that historically the first half of the calendar year records higher average prices of used cars in South Africa, with lower average mileages. The average price of used cars was still, on average, more expensive in the first six months of this year than in the first half of 2020.

“The average price of vehicles in the first half of 2021 was R389 145, with an average mileage of 75 830 km,” it said.

The report said online vehicle searches grew by 44% year-on-year to a record high of more than 319 million online vehicle searches in the first half of 2021, with more than 51 million searches conducted by body type in the same period.

It said sport utility vehicles (SUVs) generated the highest number of searches by body type.

AutoTrader highlighted that when considering only SUV body-type searches, car shoppers were less concerned about specific models and rather focused on preferred brands, with the top searched SUV brands by body type being Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW.

“For auto manufacturers and dealers, this provides an understanding of which body types of various models capture the most consumer attention and therefore, sell well,” it said.

The report added that Volkswagen led the body-type specific searches and appeared in four of the top six categories and also dominated the top three for hatchbacks.

“This signifies the popularity of their models across body types. A new entrant in the lists is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé, which has surpassed the BMW 2 Series, indicating the rise in consideration of the executive model,” it said.

The report said the top three most inquired about brands were Toyota (14.9%), Volkswagen (13.8%) and BMW (10.6%).

Together, these top three brands generated more than 39% of all buying Intent by consumers, a figure that has increased by 2% since the last report, it said.

AutoTrader said an interesting insight into the intent data was that KIA did not feature in the top 10 most searched for or viewed cars but featured in 10th place under consumer intent.

It said this indicated the importance of understanding the entire sales funnel in making informed decisions.

The report said the top 10 models that generated the most inquiries accounted for 28% of all inquiries on AutoTrader. The Toyota Hilux was the model that generated the most inquiries, accounting for 5.4% of all inquiries.

It was followed by the Ford Ranger, which was the top sold used car in the 2020 annual report and generated 3.9% of all inquiries in the first half of 2021, and the Volkswagen Polo with a 3.3% share of all inquiries.

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