Vehicle Sales update: New vehicle sales grew by 3.6% y/y in April, on the back base effects and continued growth in passenger sales

01 May 2018

Annabel Bishop

Chief Economist

Figure 1: New vehicle sales volume growth
  • New vehicle sales lifted by 3.6% y/y in April from 1.1% y/y in March, partly on the back of base effects. The rise in March, following three successive months of negative growth, was according to Naamsa “(p)re-emptive buying by consumers to avoid the increase in value added tax, new vehicle emissions taxes and ad valorem duty changes announced in the budget”.
  • Looking at the disaggregated data, the commercial vehicle category continued to fall in April, albeit at a lower rate, assisted by the heavy vehicle grouping*, which rose by 1.3% y/y, after two consecutive months of declines. The new passenger vehicle segment continued its positive momentum in April, rising by 6.4% y/y.
  • Naamsa commented that “(o)ut of the total reported Industry sales of 36 346 vehicles, an estimated 31 476 units or 86,6% represented dealer sales”.
  • Export sales grew by 0.8% y/y in April, after rising by 1.0% (revised upwards) in March, and according to Naamsa“(r)obust global growth should benefit new vehicle exports going forward”.
  • Additionally, recent positive events, including the avoidance of a downgrade by Moody’s rating agency, coupled with a 25bp cut in the interest rate, stronger business and consumer confidence and the moderation in new vehicle price inflation, should continue to support new vehicle sales.
  • Currently, NAAMSA anticipates “(a)n annual improvement of domestic sales volumes of 3% plus compared to 2017”.
Figure 2: New Vehicle Sales by Category