Consumers expected to shift to less-fuel vehicles
MORE consumers are expected to buy fuel-efficient vehicles as the petrol price has reached an all-time high.
Figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA show that new passenger vehicles sold last month increased by 12.12% to 29,517 compared to the same period last year.
This week the petrol price increased by 28 cents a litre, taking it to R12.22 a litre in Gauteng.
The total number of new vehicle sales in April increased by 10.46% year-on-year to 42617.
But the sales shrunk by 24.1% when compared to March due to the number of holidays which reduced trading days for car retailers.
General manager of Absa vehicle and asset finance Wessel Steffens said the move to entry level vehicles and fuel efficient cars was growing in the market.
"For some time consumers have been moving to more fuel-efficient and certainly the sort of vehicles which are at the entry level of the market.
"I have not seen the market moving from people deliberately getting rid of less fuel-efficient vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones. But there is definitely a drive to more fuel-efficient purchases when people replace their cars," Steffens said.
"The petrol price has an effect on what people consider when buying new cars, and I think they will continue to do that if the price of petrol continues to soar.
"The real economy has not changed in the last number of months. The overall indicators remain fairly stable ... We still have a very high number of consumers (46%) who have an impaired credit record. But there is still good reason for people to buy new cars," Steffens said.