New vehicle sales up 10.5%

South Africa’s total new vehicle sales increased by 10.5% year-on-year to 42 617 units in April, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa) said on Thursday, predicting modest growth for the industry in 2012.

Exports of vehicles fell 11% during the month, with sales to Europe in particular hit by the recession and debt crisis in the eurozone.

“As a result, Industry vehicle export projections have been revised downwards and are now expected to reach about 270 000 vehicles down from 300 000 units originally projected for 2012,” Naamsa said in a statement.

Domestic sales should continue to reflect growth but at a relatively subdued rate, with sales seen up by 8% to 10% this year.

“Factors that will continue to lend support to the domestic market include the ongoing improvement in the financial position of consumers, relatively low interest rates, continuing improvement in vehicle affordability in real terms,” Naamsa said.—Reuters

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