Bakkies beat the bunch

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

More bakkies than cars were sold last month, data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) showed.

Sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses shot up 21percent and car sales plummeted 16percent compared with April last year.

Last month's best selling vehicle was the Toyota Hilux bakkie with 3233 units sold. The best selling car VW Polo Classic was a distant second with 2389 units sold.

April is generally a bad month for vehicle manufacturers because of the Easter holidays. But this year, April sales were worsened by the glitches in the Transport Department's new eNatis computer system, which brought vehicle registration queues to a standstill. The affordability of cars has also been hit by higher interest rates and price increases.

More bad news for the local motor industry is that exports dropped 10,4percent. Vehicle production is one of the biggest industries in South Africa's manufacturing sector, accounting for 17percent of the country's gross domestic product.