Empowerment initiatives have had a big impact on vehicle sales - with black motorists buying more expensive cars than their white counterparts, Wesbank chief executive Ronnie Watson said.

Empowerment initiatives have had a big impact on vehicle sales - with black motorists buying more expensive cars than their white counterparts, Wesbank chief executive Ronnie Watson said this week.

Business Day quoted Watson as saying that it became apparent in the middle of last year that black motorists were investing more in new vehicles than the average motorist.

"This shows the impact of black economic empowerment on vehicle sales," said Watson. "In September this year, the average black motorist took out vehicle finance of R140 922, while the average for all those purchasing vehicles was R133 000.

"From the middle of 2002, black buyers have tracked above the average. We conclude that they are in BMWs, Mercedes and 4x4s - those are the popular vehicles of choice."

WesBank now has a vehicle book for black customers of R5,8 billion, out of a total vehicle book of R32 billion. "The black vehicle book has shown tremendous growth twice the size of the WesBank book," he said. “The number of deals with black customers has grown 50 per cent in the last two years and this goes to show that the wealth is being spread."

BMW SA spokesman Richard Carter said that while there was evidence suggesting an increase in the number of "aspirant" black consumers, this could not be verified as BMW did not keep sales statistics based on race.

Original article from Car