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New vehicle sales slowed down in July 2015


WITH passenger car sales showing an 8.8 percent drop (3 509 units) compared to the 40 015 sales in July last year, and with the largest year-to-date monthly decline overall, the doom and gloom has, to a certain extent, been offset by strong showings from the export sector.

Once again, Toyota SA continues to dominate with a strong showing of 11 235 overall sales and which is considerably better than its June figures, which amounted to 9 712.

Toyota's fortunes continue to rest heavily on its soon-to-be replaced Hilux which, on 3 546 sales, was July's overall top seller. Other stars for Toyota were, Corolla/Auris/Quest (1 919) and Etios on 1 515. RAV (597) did equally well, outselling its main rival, Ford Kuga (432). However, Yaris seems to be losing steam - selling only 227.

In second place on the Top Ten listings, and after having been (temporarily) pushed into third place by Ford in June, Volkswagen came back strongly - improving its rather sad 6 934 June total to an impressive 8 475 last month. Volkswagen's strength continues to lie in its strong passenger car component, which did not disappoint. The Polo Vivo, especially, impressed with 2 871 sales, while Polo (2 084) also caught the eye. Even the excellent Golf 7 made a strong showing, selling 616. The group's Audi cousins, likewise, did well with A3 on 444 and the A4 on 276 sales. 

Ford returns to its customary third place in the Top Ten, with total sales of 6 429 in July - compared to 7 115 units sold in June. With an excellent mixed bag of passenger - as well as light commercials - Ford's star continues to be its impressive Ranger (2 618), as well as its ever-popular Fiesta (938), and Figo (893). The EcoSport (732) and Focus (417) likewise, did well.

The non-disclosing AMH Group remains firmly in 4th place by pushing up its June sales (4 028) to an excellent 5 622 overall. Slipping down one place after June sales figures of 5 028, GM/Isuzu Trucks held steady on 4 947 total sales. Similar to Volkswagen in that GM has a balanced portfolio of passenger, as well as light commercial vehicles, GM's strength continues to lie in Isuzu KB (1 299), Chevrolet Ute (1 294), and Opel Corsa (300). The Opel brand continues to make a strong comeback with total sales across all models on an impressive 619. The recent launch of the dynamic little Corsa Sport should see sales increase even further.

Nissan continues to hold onto its 6th place with total sales of 4 285 in July - an improvement over June's 3 997. Starring for Nissan is Datsun GO (704) and X-Trail (323), while its commercial offerings - NP200 (1 411) and NP300 Hardbody (912) - also provided the numbers.

It's at the bottom of the Top Ten listings that things start to become interesting.

Still in 7th place, despite a rather indifferent showing with 2 378 sales compared to 2 531 in June, the non-disclosing Mercedes-Benz Group still managed to stay ahead of rivals BMW, which has slipped even further down the rankings. In fact, French carmaker, Renault slipped into 8th spot with total sales of 2 080 - 80 better than in June. Renault's best performers were Duster (436), Clio IV (354) and Sandero II (899).

BMW experienced decline in July - totalling 1 913 domestic sales - a drop of more than 300 units compared to June's 2 242. Nevertheless, the 3-Series continues to do well (669 sales), while the 1-Series (303) likewise did well. The X5 (148) remains, with good reason, very popular in the minds of the buying public.

Mazda, meanwhile, continues to impress with a place among the Top Ten, and overall sales of 802 units - a slight improvement over June's 770 total. It would seem that the recent divorce from Ford has done wonders for the Mazda brand with the BT-50 (131), CX-5 (226) and Mazda3 (205) all contributing.

In the current "wannabe" luxury division dominated by the German Big Three, Lexus provided the strongest challenge with 94 total sales, followed by Jaguar on 52, and Nissan's Infiniti lagging behind on 38 units sold.

Meanwhile, Honda, a previous regular in the Top Ten, seems to be running out of steam - selling a total of 710 units thanks, largely, to Brio (172), HR-V (177) and CR-V (100). This time around, the CR-V managed to stay ahead of Mitsubishi's ASX (91).

Although showing a slight decline - from 129 to 117 - Porsche continues to do well, relying on Cayenne (42), Macan (29),  and the superlative 911 (27) for a sound performance.

In contrast to the challenging domestic trading environment, industry vehicle production remained on a firm footing and the sharply higher new vehicle export sales (28 291) reflected an improvement of 5 555 units (24.4 percent) over July 2014.



Volkswagen Polo Vivo  2,871
Volkswagen Polo 2,084
Toyota Corolla/Auris/Quest 1,919
Toyota Etios 1,515
Ford Fiesta 948
Renault Sandero II 899
Ford Figo 893
Ford EcoSport  732
Toyota Fortuner 717
BMW 3-Series  669



Toyota Hilux  3,546
Ford Ranger 2,618
Nissan NP200 1,411
Isuzu KB 1,299
Chev Utility 1,294
Toyota Quantum 1,124
Nissan NP300 Hardbody 912
Toyota Land Cruiser PU 328
Volkswagen Amarok 296
Mazda BT-50 131



Isuzu N-Series 229
Hino 300 Series 177
Volkswagen Crafter 52
Tata Mcv  49
Toyota Dyna 41
Iveco Daily 34
Ford Transit 22
Peugeot Boxer  17
Citroën Relay 11
UD Trucks UD-M 7

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Article written by Bernard K Hellberg Snr
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