New vehicle sales for February reflected a sharp decline of 8,6 per cent compared with last year, according to the latest figures from Naamsa.

To view February's new vehicle sales figures click here

New vehicle sales for February reflected a sharp decline of 8,6 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

The organisation said the figures were disappointing, coming at the lower end of industry expectations. Sales of 27 650 units were recorded in February, which is down by 2 595 units from February last year, when 30 245 were sold.

February new car sales came in at 17 875 units, which was a decline of 1597 units or 8,2 per cent compared with the 19 472 sales recorded during February 2002.

Sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses numbered 8 572 units sold during February. This reflected a fairly sharp decline of 1 032 units or 10,7 per cent compared with the 9 604 units sales of the corresponding month last year.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry again reflected a mixed performance. Medium commercials reflected a decline of 22 units or 4,9 per cent to 426 units. Heavy trucks and buses gained 7,7 per cent or 56 units for a total of 777 sales.

Vehicle exports started 2003 on a relatively promising note with aggregate exports for January 2003 rising by 1 185 units or 15,6 per cent compared with the corresponding month last year when 7 595 exports were recorded.

Exports of cars went up from 6 766 in January 2002 to 7 381, light commercials increased substantially from 787 units to 1 380, while medium commercials dropped from 42 to 19 units.

Naamsa commented that in the short term, until the expected interest rates reductions materialised, year on year sales performance comparisons were likely to remain negative. In the medium term, a number of factors were expected to support improved demand for new vehicles, particularly during the second half of 2003.

These factors included the current strength of the rand and resultant prospects of lower inflation, moderate new vehicle price increases, an easing of interest rates, higher levels of disposable income on the back of the significant tax cuts announced in the budget and an economy expected to grow above three per cent, in real terms, during 2003.

To view February's new vehicle sales figures click here

Original article from Car