South Africa 2017. Cars sales up 1% breaking three years of falls

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South African Auto Sales
Nissan-X-Trail-2018

South African Auto Sales in the 2017 recovered only 1.7% after four years of decline. Indeed the country is facing harsh economic times and just in Q4 come out from a recession. Toyota gained 9% while the winner of the year was the Renault-Nissan Group.

South African economy continues to struggle after coming out of a technical recession in the second quarter. In the government’s medium-term budget policy statement released in October, the government confirmed that the fiscal deficit for the 2017/2018 fiscal year is expected to reach 4.3%, widening from the 3.1% fiscal shortfall observed in the previous fiscal year and the largest fiscal shortfall since 2009. The unemployment rate in Q3 remained extremely elevated at 27.7%, the same print observed in the previous quarter, a bad sign for private consumption. Manufacturing production contracted in September, and the latest PMI data from October point to another month of falling output.

The automotive industry, one of the most relevant sector in the country and production base for export in several African countries and others place in the World, was severely hit by the low growth of the country and by the others African market economic difficulties with consequent fall in both domestic and export vehicles sales.

South Africa domestic light vehicles market is declining since the 2013 and, albeit the series of four consecutive down-years, has marginally receovered in the 2017, under the effect of still low consumer demand and record low business sentiment.  According to data released by the Department Trade and Industry of South African, full year sales grew at 532.304 units, up a mere 1.7%.

During the year, Toyota has sold 123.415 vehicles or 23.1% of market share, up 9.7% creating a wide gap over Volkswagen, second with 75.757 sales (+1.6%) and Ford, third with 71.190 units (-3.5%).

Remarkable the Nissan performance in fourth place with sales up 23.4% at 44.865 units to be added at the boom of the low-cost brand of the Group, Datsun, up 43.1% with 6.924 sales.

In fifth place Hyundai with 34.534 sales (-0.5%) followed by Renault with 22.620 (+20.9%), Mercedes with 20.891 (-14.5%), Kia with 20.061 (+9.4%), BMW with 18.017 (-13.8%) and in 10th place Isuzu with 14.256 (+10.9%).

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for all Brands, top 10 Manufacturers Group.

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