June's new vehicle sales total was not only 31 per cent higher than that of the corresponding month last year, but the aggregate for the first half of 2005 is almost 30 per cent more than the figure recorded in the first six months of 2004.

:: Click here for complete new vehicle sales figures during June ::

June's new vehicle sales total was not only 31 per cent higher than that of the corresponding month last year, but the aggregate for the first half of 2005 is almost 30 per cent more than the figure recorded in the first six months of 2004.

Aggregate new car sales (32 123 units) reflected the second strongest June month sales performance on record and the total was up 24 per cent compared with the 25 902 sold during June, 2004. In addition, June's new car market was 6,8 per cent bigger than that of May, when 30 085 new cars were sold.

"Taking account of the 3 602 new cars sold - but not reported in detail through Naamsa - the June new car market reached 35 725 sales, an all time record for a June month. At the mid year stage, year to date sales volumes remained 28,1 per cent ahead of last years' corresponding sales," the association added.

Enhanced stock availability boosted sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses to an all time record (15 292 units) during June - an improvement of 4 963 vehicles (48 per cent) compared with corresponding month last year. June's sales in this sector were also 14,9 per cent more than in May.

With half of calendar 2005 accounted for, sales of light commercials were 26,3 per cent ahead of last years' sales volumes, Naamsa commented.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry continued to register further remarkable gains and at 1 218 units and 1 411 units, respectively, improved by 55,9 per cent, in the case of medium commercials, and 20,1 per cent in the case of heavy commercial vehicles and buses. At the half-year stage, medium commercial vehicle sales were 54,2 per cent and heavy truck and bus sales 22 per cent ahead of the first six months of 2004.

Naamsa predicted that "low interest rates, improved new vehicle affordability, ongoing attractive sales incentives, the introduction of technologically-advanced models with additional features (generally at no extra cost), strong consumer and business sentiment" would continue to support new vehicle sales during the rest of 2005 and "should ensure record new vehicle sales in South Africa for the second year in succession".

:: Click here for complete new vehicle sales figures during June ::

Comment from the manufacturers:

Nissan enjoyed its best new vehicle sales for June in 10 years, a feat that Nissan's head of marketing and sales Roel de Vries attributed to the continued strong consumer demand in a growing economy as well as the increased production stemming from the additional shift at the Rosslyn assembly plant.

"We're very pleased with the June sales, particularly as they were achieved before the introduction of our new Pathfinder and Murano models," said De Vries. "We've also seen for the first time the benefits of improved supply as a result of the double shift in the plant.

"Total sales for the first six months of the year are most encouraging, especially when you consider that traditionally the second six months of the year are better than the first. If this seasonality trend continues and the positive market conditions remain, we can expect to record another record year for the industry."

"This is a record month for new vehicle sales in South Africa," said Jacques Brent, national sales manager for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. "At over 50 000 total new vehicle sales, the industry continues to show strong growth and we could be looking at a sales figure for the year of around 550 000.

"The growth comes from significant rental and government sales, new model launch activity and improved inventory levels. It is an exciting time to be in the motor industry, even though trading conditions continue to be extremely competitive," Brent concluded.

"June sales were fuelled to new heights by healthy macro economic conditions," said Brand Pretorius, chairman of McCarthy Motor Holdings. "In addition, high levels of business and consumer confidence, enhanced vehicle affordability and the increased spending power of Black South Africans, all contributed to the growth in the local vehicle market.

Pretorius pointed out that other growth stimulants included important new model introductions, notably the BMW 3 Series and Toyota Hilux, and accelerated spending by fleets before the end of their financial year on 30 June.

"Dealers also pushed very hard to maximise sales in order to qualify for their quarterly incentive targets. In addition, an abundance of 'special offers' on a variety of models was promoted in the media during the course of the month.

"All in all, the first half of 2005 has been the best ever with sales records continuing to tumble on a monthly basis," said Pretorius. "From a new vehicle sales perspective, the industry has enjoyed a real bonanza!"

“We are exceptionally pleased with our June sales results which reflect our best sales to date. Two elements – the fact that the market continues to be impressively buoyant with sales of over 50 000 new vehicles and that GMSA has consistently improved its position over the past few months – makes our results all the more pleasing,” said GMSA sales and marketing director Malcolm Gauld.

VWSA sales and marketing director Jolyon Nash said the performance of the June market was significant because seasonal patterns have indicated that the July to October months are traditionally stronger sales periods: "Based on seasonal analysis therefore the industry could be entering a period that will yield even larger markets given unchanged economic circumstances."

He added: "Demand for new passenger cars seems set to continue at buoyant levels in coming months as consumers continue to take advantage of low rates of interest, new models offering ever increasing value, and steadily declining new car prices in real terms."

“We are delighted with these volumes for June, which make our total DaimlerChrysler sales a record of 835 vehicles,” said Stephen Hayton, divisional manager, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle division of DCSA. “Looking back, we have not had monthly sales of this proportion for more than ten years! Sales for the last few months have been phenomenal and total sales for this month in particular excite us.”

“The highlight for us for the month of June is that the Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles Bus Division are leading the heavy bus segment with a total of 38 buses. We attribute these sales to the recent expansion of our product offering,” said Hayton. “With our new bus strategy firmly in place we will start to see renewed trust and we will regain a dominant position within the bus market.”

The local introduction of Japan’s top selling FUSO range early in 2005 has given DCSA wider exposure to the heavy commercial segment, and has helped Mitsubishi to further build on the successes of the Canter.

“Although the overall commercial vehicle market is still growing, we see the composition of the market changing. A year ago phenomenal growth placed the extra-heavy sector at the top of the tables. Currently the medium commercial vehicles dominate with an overall monthly sales figure of 1 218 compared to 781 for June last year,” said Hayton.

Original article from Car