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Passenger car sales on dealer floors fell by a significant 7.6% in July 2019, highlighting the extremely challenging economy for business at present.  This was despite the luxury of an additional trading day this July.

“The 25-basis point interest rate cut announced last month was reassuring to the economy and the consumer. However, in order for the rate cut to have any significant impact, it needs to be accompanied by robust structural reforms that deal with key underlying issues in the economy. We implore government to aggressively pursue its efforts to stimulate growth,” says Mark Dommisse, Chairperson, National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in South Africa.

According to Dommisse, bank finance applications showed increased activity, “which was encouraging”.

“Affordability remains a key factor in the motorists’ purchasing decision with buying cycles being pushed out significantly. We have seen a substantial drop in the luxury segment of the market with sales in the lower R300,000 and below price band seeing the lion’s share of the mix.

“On a positive note, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales at dealer level made a comeback, but year-on-year LCV sales are down. The Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle segments also showed a strong recovery this month.

“The continued decline in new vehicle sales reflects the current political and economic environment. Consumers will continue delaying decisions on big ticket items such as new vehicles until we have greater stability all round.

“As uncertainty continues to have an effect on new vehicle sales, other areas of business such as used and nearly new cars, as well as aftersales, remain key areas of focus for franchised retailers. Another interest rate cut in the fourth quarter will go a long way to help our struggling economy,” concludes Dommisse.

  • Overall dealer sales channel for July 2019 – 36 974new vehicles (passenger and commercial vehicles) sold in July 2019 (July 2018: 37 947) showing a

-2.6% variance in sales compared to the same month last year

  • Month of July 2019 versus July 2018 – 251 960new vehicles sold on dealer floors year-to-date to July 2019 (2018: 262 511) showing a -4.0% decline