New vehicle sales of 1,094 units were recorded in August, with sales falling by 19.9% from the 1,366 new vehicles sold in August 2016. On a m/m basis, new vehicle sales fell by 18.7%, with August recording 252 less in sales than July. Year to date, 9,272 vehicles have been sold, 21.4% less than sales recorded in the corresponding period of 2016. Of the 9,272 vehicles sold this year, 3,978 were passenger vehicles, 4,848 were light commercial vehicles, and 446 were medium and heavy commercial vehicles.
Passenger vehicle sales fell by 24.5% y/y, to 400 vehicles, while commercial vehicle sales have fell by 17.0% y/y. Of the 694 commercial vehicles sold in August: 650 were classified as light, 12 as medium and 32 as heavy. Heavy commercial vehicle sales contracted by 25.6% y/y. The highest volume for this calendar year so far, was the sales in June of 83 units, which provided some optimism as increased capital spending pointed toward improving business confidence. Light commercial vehicles sales make up the bulk of this category’s sales, reporting a decline of 15.7% m/m and falling 15.1% y/y.
On a twelve-month cumulative basis, vehicle sales remain under pressure, contracting by 24.4% y/y. Instalment credit, which is mainly used to finance vehicle purchases, has slowed considerably. Although, instalment credit increased by 0.5% m/m in July, this followed six months of consecutive m/m declines, bringing the annual growth to -1.4% y/y.
Year to date, Toyota and Volkswagen continue to maintain their strong hold on the passenger vehicle market. Based on the number of new vehicles sold, claiming 36% and 25% of the market respectively. They were followed by Ford and Mercedes at 7% and 4% respectively, while the rest of the passenger vehicle market continues to be shared by several competitors. Toyota also remains the leader in light commercial vehicle sales with 47% of the market, followed by Nissan at 16%. Ford and Isuzu claimed 12% and 9% of the number of light commercial vehicles sold in 2017.
Hino leads in medium commercial vehicles with 33% of the market, with Iveco following with 27%. In the heavy and extra heavy category, Scania and Mercedes have sold the most vehicles, claiming 29% and 17% of the market respectively. UD Trucks came in at third, with 14% of the number of vehicles sold in this category in 2017.
The Bottom Line
Overall vehicle sales are under pressure and have been since late 2015. The Private Sector Credit Extension (PSCE) growth figures prove testament to waning consumer and business confidence and an already stretched consumer as instalment credit, mainly used to finance capital goods, remains sluggish. The amendments to the Credit Agreement Act had a significant effect on consumer spending as well. Bearing in mind that government is still in its fiscal consolidation cycle with no with little to no plans to increase capital expenditure in sight. Vehicle sales showed signs of slight improvement the previous three months before slumping by 18.7% m/m, and is likely to remain subdued going forward.