November new car sales up, outlook upbeat

South Africa’s new vehicle sales increased again in November, reflecting the impact of two years of interest-rate cuts, and car-makers said they expected sales to rise further.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa) said on Thursday total industry sales were up by 29,6% year-on-year in November to 44 371 units.

When stripping out sales from Associated Motor Holdings and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors — which report separately — sales rose by 27,4% to 38 172 units compared with November last year, Naamsa said.

The South African Reserve Bank cut the repo rate by 50 basis points to 5,5% in November, bringing rate reductions to a cumulative 6,5 percentage points since December 2008.

Naamsa said the rate reductions had boosted car sales and, along with pent-up replacement demand, should continue to support sales in the near future.

Exports recorded their best month this year, up 24,2% year-on-year to 28 550 units.

“Aggregate export sales reflected further gains as manufacturers’ output recovered from the loss of production due to industrial action experienced during the months of August and September 2010,” Naamsa said.

The car manufacturers’ body said domestic car sales for next year were expected to increase by between 7,5% and 10%.

“New vehicle sales over the medium term would remain a function of the performance of the domestic economy, and, in the case of export sales, the sustainability of the recovery of the global economy,” Naamsa said. — Reuters

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