Biz-Community (Cape Town)

South Africa: Expected Price Increases Keep New Vehicle Sales Buoyant

Demand for new vehicle sales remained buoyant in November 2012, according to figures released today by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), which revealed a 7.3% year-on-year increase in total industry vehicle sales.

This is according to Chris de Kock, executive head of Sales and Marketing at WesBank, who says the prospect of increasing vehicle prices in the new year, as a result of the weakening Rand, is helping to drive year-end sales. "The low vehicle inflation environment over the last three years is coming to an end and prices have already started to increase, as evidenced by WesBank book data showing the average transaction value of new car purchases increased last month by 3.25% on average to R222 000.

Incentives are attractive

"In addition, the ongoing incentives currently being provided by motor vehicle manufacturers to entice new buyers such as discounts and trade-in incentives continue to be attractive to prospective purchasers." This trend is also demonstrated by WesBank book data, which recorded the second highest month on record in terms of monthly applications at 116 440, as well as significant growth of 27% in year-on-year applications.

"The market has been surprisingly strong throughout much of 2012, with plenty of demand among consumers for new vehicles as a result of the ongoing conducive buying environment, as consumers opt to take advantage of the combination of low inflation on new vehicles and interest rates at a 40-year low," says De Kock.

"Year-to-date the market is up 9.8% on 2011, retracting a little from the high of 11.6% in July. However, this is still a very strong performance given the financial pressures negatively impacting on many consumers and with one month to go, we are still expecting year-end growth to be single digits," concludes De Kock.

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