Vehicle sales of 1,346 units was recorded in July, with overall sales falling by 12.8% from the 1,544 new vehicles sold in July 2016, and a 10.3% m/m increase on the 1,220 vehicles sold in June. Year to date, 8,178 vehicles have been sold, 22% less than the corresponding period in 2016. Of the 8,178 vehicles sold this year, 3,578 were passenger vehicles, 4,198 were light commercial vehicles, and 402 were medium or heavy commercial vehicles.
Passenger car sales have decreased by 15.7% y/y, to 533 cars, while commercial vehicle sales have declined by 10.9% y/y. Of the 813 commercial vehicles sold in July: 771 were classified as light, 12 as medium and 30 as heavy. Heavy commercial vehicle sales contracted by 50.8% y/y after showing an uptick y/y of 66.0% in June, which did provide some optimism as increased capital spending pointed toward improving business confidence. Light commercial vehicles was the standout performer this month, exhibiting a positive monthly increase in sales of 29.6%, although still down 8.1% y/y.
On a twelve-month cumulative basis, vehicle sales continue to wane, contracting by 23.8% y/y. Installment credit, which is mainly used to finance vehicle purchases, has slowed considerably. Instalment credit advances contracted by 0.7% y/y in June, entering negative territory for the first time in our database.
Year to date Toyota and Volkswagen continue to hold a strong market share in the passenger vehicle market based on the number of new vehicles sold, claiming 36% and 26% of the market respectively. They were followed by Ford and Mercedes at 6% 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 17%. Ford and Isuzu claimed 12% and 9% of the number of light commercial vehicles sold in 2017.
Hino leads in medium commercial vehicles with 31% of the market, with Iveco marginally less with 30%. In the heavy and extra heavy category, Scania and Mercedes have sold the most vehicles, claiming 29% and 18% of the market respectively. UD Trucks came in at third, with 15% of the number of vehicles sold in this category in 2017.
The Bottom Line
Overall vehicle sales remained sluggish in July, continuing on almost the same trend as in 2016, showing some positive signs before trending downwards midway through the year. Continued fiscal tightening, evident through lower government spending on capital assets, slower economic growth, waning consumer discretionary income as well as the credit agreement act have been the main impediments on new vehicles sold. Positive heavy vehicle sales figures in June have this month been supported by encouraging sales data for light commercial vehicles, though overall vehicle sales for 2017 remain under pressure. While there has been a sizable increase in total vehicle sales since April this year, year-to-date and year-on-year data is still depressed compared to previous years.