Mercedes accelerates car sales

Lihle Mtshali

Lihle Mtshali

August saw car sales jump while commercial vehicle sales slowed, reversing the trend so far this year.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa reported that August's car sales surged 17percent from July to 32176 units.

The star performer was the Mercedes C-Class, which raced to fourth place in August's vehicle sales charts from 24th in July. The new model sold 3035 units last month, nearly five times more than July's 641 despite its hefty starting price of R292000.

Richard Sloman, media specialist for the Mercedes Car Group at Daimler- Chrysler said: "We had a huge order booked when the new C-Class was released at the beginning of the month and the number of sales in August was just us catching up to the orders."

In August, South Africa was the third largest market for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars worldwide, behind Germany and USA, said Eckart Mayer, divisional manager for the Mercedes Car Group.

August's sales boost was partly attributed to car hire firms increasing their rental fleets.

McCarthy Motor Holdings' Brand Pretorius attributed it to price cutting as manufacturers try to recover from disappointing sales earlier this year.