South Africa

Hilux back on top as new vehicle sales end May on a high


After a surprise pipping by the Ford Ranger in April as South Africa’s best-selling new vehicle, the Toyota Hilux regained its position as the nation’s favourite in May, according to the latest monthly figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA).

Familiar sight

It’s sales for the month totalling 2 798 units, the Hilux not only edged-out its Blue Oval arch rival on 2 104, but also the Isuzu D-Max that kept is third step on the bakkie podium with sales of 1 555 units.

Between the trio came the Volkswagen Polo Vivo (1 876) and the Toyota Corolla Cross (1 644), with the Toyota HiAce finishing sixth (1 553) and the Toyota Starlet seventh (1 218).

ALSO READ: Ford Ranger beats Toyota Hilux to April’s best-seller crown

Rounding out the top 10 was the Suzuki Swift on 1 178, the Nissan NP200 with sales of 1 157 and the Hyundai Grand i10 on 1 054.

As in previous months, locally assembled models made up the majority of the top 10, the sole oddities being the Indian-sourced Starlet spun-off of the Suzuki Baleno, the Swift and the Grand i10.

Month in detail

After two months of consecutive decreases, the figures for May showed a significant rebound of 10.1% from last year’s 39 101 to 43 060 – this despite a tenth back-to-back increase in the repo rate, fluctuating petrol prices and the crippling energy crisis that has seen load shedding surpass the entire 2022’s run of state controlled blackouts after only five months.

Unsurprisingly, individual vehicle segments ended May in the black with new passenger vehicles improving a scant 0.1% from 2022’s 27 386 to 27 401, while light commercial vehicles posted more a substantial 38.5% hike to 12 825 from 9 261.

On the medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle front, the former rose 2.7% from 565 to 580 and the latter 19% from 1 889 to 2 254.

Ending the month on a high, vehicle exports shot-up 67.5% to end the month on 31 437 versus May last year’s 12 498.

“Ford’s [new Ranger and Volkswagen’s joint venture new] Amarok bakkies manufacturing boosted the vehicle export numbers for May 2023, while the significant marginal difference in exports stats between May 2023 and low-base May 2022 was as a result of last year’s vehicle export knock-on effects of the severe floods in KwaZulu-Natal on the automotive supply chain and damages to the Toyota facility,” NAAMSA said in response to the export numbers.

Tabled for April as opposed to May, sales of new energy vehicles, comprising hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full-electric, also climbed by 14.5% from 1 792 to 2 052 – the bulk being 1 725 hybrids, 43 plug-in hybrids and 284 EVs.

Top 10 brands

Of the country’s best-selling marques, the top three remained unchanged with Toyota placing first on 11 395, ahead of Volkswagen (5 259) and Suzuki (3 709).

Placing fourth was Hyundai (2 745) in front of Ford (2 491) and Nissan (2 314), with Haval clinching seventh (1 8770, Isuzu eighth (1 871), Renault ninth (1 848) and Kia tenth (1 668).

May Top 50 Best Selling Cars

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