New car sales soar after three-year decline

NEW vehicle sales surged 20,5percent in February, industry data showed yesterday, pointing to a recovery in one of the economy's key sectors.

NEW vehicle sales surged 20,5percent in February, industry data showed yesterday, pointing to a recovery in one of the economy's key sectors.

February marked a second consecutive month of year-on-year increases after nearly three years of declining sales, when the industry was hit hard by a global downturn and weak consumer demand.

"Despite the low base last year, it was encouraging that total industry sales for the first two months of 2010 were 18percent ahead of the corresponding two months in 2009," the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA said.

"Statistically, this represented one of the best starts to a calendar year."

Naamsa said total industry sales climbed to 39312 units last month, compared with 32613 a year ago.

Stripping out sales from Associated Motor Holdings and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors - which report separately - sales rose by 16,2percent to 34314 units compared with February last year.

Total passenger car sales climbed 27,5percent year-on-year. - Reuters

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