South Africa Auto Sales Jumped in 2022


South Africa Auto Sales Jumped in 2022
A view of an Opel automotive dealership in Centurion in South Africa's Gauteng Province. © Jurie Maree

Sales of new vehicles in South Africa rose by 14% in 2022 and were just 1% shy of pre-pandemic new vehicle sales in 2019, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa reported yesterday. The increase came in spite of a number of economic headwinds in the country last year.

Total new vehicle sales reached 528,963 in 2022, compared to 464,493 the year before and to 380,206 in 2020. Car sales were up 19% at 363,092 and were 2% higher than 355,379 in 2019.

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“Following a family upbeat first quarter 2022 industry performance, globally supply chain disruptions, along with the impact of the devastating floods in KwaZulo-Natal, elevated inflation, an upwards trend interest rates, record fuel prices, as well as record highs in the frequency and intensity of load shedding weighed heavily on both business and consumer confidence,” the association said in a press release. “However, the new vehicle market’s performance in 2022 remained resilient despite the multipole national and international headwinds.” KwaZulo-Natal is a province in the southeast region of the country. Load shedding distributes demand for electrical power across multiple power sources.

The association noted that the lifting of all COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the country in 2022, along with recovery in business and leisure travel, provided some support to its new vehicle market to counter the growing pressures on household incomes.

Stronger sales in the various commercial vehicle segments indicated improved business confidence, the associations aid, even during the tough economic times. Light commercial vehicle sales were up 2% at 135,666, medium commercial vehicle sales increased 11% to 8,370 and sales of new heavy trucks and buses rose 12% to 21,835.

Consumer price inflation in South Africa reached a 13-year high of 7.8% in July last year, the association noted. “However, despite the myriad of negative economic pressures and ongoing stock supply shortages, the new vehicle market continued to outperform expectations in 2022,” the association said.

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Africa    Market Topics    Region    South Africa