New vehicle sales record mixed performance

New vehicle sales recorded a mixed performance for July 2010 with gains in new car sales but signs of weakness in new light commercial vehicle sales, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said on Tuesday.

The latest aggregate sales numbers “confirmed expectations of a moderation in the underlying growth momentum in the various sectors”, Naamsa said in a statement.

For July, aggregate industry sales at 41 367 units registered an improvement of 6 895 vehicles or 20% compared to the 34 472 vehicles sold during the corresponding month in 2009.

The year-on-year monthly improvement was below the 23,3% growth recorded for the first seven months of 2010 and this in turn implied, as expected, slower growth.

Aggregate export sales registered strong gains during July 2010 in relation to the very low base figure of the corresponding month in 2009 when exports had been particularly badly affected as a result of the impact of the global financial and economic crisis at the time.

Overall, out of the total Naamsa reported industry sales of 35 555 vehicles, 84,7% or 30 106 units represented dealer/retail sales, 8,5% represented sales to the car rental industry, 3,7% represented industry corporate fleet sales and 3,1% sales to government.

Naamsa said aggregate industry new car sales during July 2010 had been at the upper end of expectations and at 29 221 reflected an improvement of 7 159 units or 32,4% compared to the 22 062 new cars sold by the industry during July 2009.

“The selling rate of new cars per day remained relatively robust,” Naamsa said.

However, in contrast to the relatively buoyant new car market, sales of industry new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses at 10 375 units during July 2010 reflected a decline of 310 units or 2,9% compared to the 10 685 units of the corresponding month last year.

“The new light commercial vehicle sales cycle slowed significantly compared to previous months,” Naamsa said. – Sapa

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