Johannesburg - New vehicle sales ended 2012 on a positive
note with a year-on-year increase of 1.8% in December, the National Association
of Automobile Manufacturers said on Wednesday.
A total of 46 016 vehicles were sold in December 2012, an
improvement of just 825 on the previous year.
The new passenger car market recorded a year-on-year
increase of 7.6%, which was supported by a strong demand from car rental
companies, a sector which accounts for 14.3% of total sales.
Export sales recorded a substantial year-on-year increase of
5 554 units or 39.2%.
Naamsa said that after extensive discussions, Mercedes-Benz
would resume full reporting of its new vehicle sales and exports.
In December 2011, the German manufacturer withdrew from
reporting its sales to Naamsa after a global directive by its parent company
Naamsa director Nico Vermeulen said 2012 vehicle sales
improved by 9.2% to 623 914 units when compared with a total of 571 415 new
vehicles sold in South Africa in 2011.
He said export sales performed relatively well during 2012
and stood at 277 844 vehicles, which was the second highest annual export
figure on record.
"On balance, 2012 turned out to be a year of relatively
"New vehicle sales generally, and new car sales in
particular, performed well above initial expectations despite a slowing
economy," said Vermeulen.
He said motor industry-related sales turnover had grown by
about 11% and reached about R182bn in 2012.
New vehicle export sales were estimated to have added a
further R52bn to the total industry revenue.
Vermeulen said South Africa's track record as a car
manufacturer had been firmly established, with vehicle exports currently destined
for 148 international markets.
Total industry exports were projected to reach about 361 000
units during 2013, he said.
On the assumption that the South African economy would grow
in real terms by three percent in 2013, Naamsa projected an increase of 7.3% in
vehicle domestic sales.