Dealer association calls on Reserve Bank to lower interest rates - South Africa-

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“It’s been quite a painful start to winter as the new-vehicle retail market – passenger and commercial vehicles – continued its downward trend in June. It is now 4.2% down on last year (year-to-date),” he notes.

“Drastic action needs to be taken by government in order to stimulate the retail sales market across all sectors of the economy.

“We live in a consumption-based society with consumer confidence a big driver. As consumers increase expenditure and confidence, the economy grows.”

However, any relief provided by the Reserve Bank “will be small, if at all”, believes WesBank Motor executive head Ghana Msibi.

“While motorists should expect some relief in petrol prices during July, households will bear increases in rates and electricity prices from this month on.”

Full year-to-date new-vehicle sales – not only retail – show that the numbers for the first six months of the year are down 3.7% compared with the same period in 2018.

Some vehicle manufacturers are, however, excelling in the current turbulent market, most notably those selling less expensive vehicles, and those which have proven their staying power in the South African market.

The Toyota Hilux, for example, recorded its highest ever monthly sales in South Africa, with a total of 4 770 units in June – 35 units more than the previous high of 4 335 units, recorded in 2011.

Luckily, conditions in the global market do not quite mirror those in the local market, with new-vehicle exports delivering some good news in June, with exports from South Africa gaining 14.3% last month, to 30 604 units, compared with the same month last year.

Vehicle exports for the first six months of the year are 19.3% higher than the corresponding period last year.

Top-selling cars, bakkies and vans in June:
1. Toyota Hilux 4 770
2. VW Polo Vivo 2 571
3. Ford Ranger 2 029
4. VW Polo 1 887
5. Nissan NP200 1 709
6. Isuzu D-Max 1 525
7. Toyota Fortuner 1 410
8. Toyota Quantum 1 345
9. Renault Kwid 1 056
10. Ford EcoSport 819

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