Car sales an encouraging sign of growth

A TOTAL of 23606 new passenger cars have been sold in South Africa since January 2010.

A TOTAL of 23606 new passenger cars have been sold in South Africa since January 2010.

Total new passenger car sales in April decreased by 17,1percent when compared to March 2010, but increased by 40,8percent when compared to April 2009. This brings the year-to-date 2010 April market to 26,6percent above the same period for 2009.

"Despite April traditionally being a relatively slow month for new passenger car sales as a result of the number of public and school holidays, April 2010, while down on the March new car market as expected, performed well with the selling rate of new cars during the month remaining relatively buoyant," said Mike Glendinning, director of sales and marketing, Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA).

"With total passenger car sales of 5389, VWSA captured 22,8percent of the April passenger market.

"The new entry level Polo Vivo was the bestselling passenger brand in April, with sales of 2187 units. This was a very encouraging response from consumers," he said.

"Audi captured 3,7percent of the total passenger market with sales of 885 units - no mean feat for our premium segment brand.

Looking ahead, real household disposable income reflected growth during the fourth quarter of 2009, a trend that in all probability will continue. House prices are rising slowly and the stock exchange has performed well.

Both business and consumer confidence has reflected encouraging growth in the first quarter. The Reserve Bank's leading indicator of economic activity has grown strongly. All of this augers well for accelerated recovery in consumption demand in months to come.

"This suggests ongoing growth in demand for new passenger cars in coming months.

This should be further supported by continued slowing in the rate of increase in new vehicle prices as a result of currency strength, a declining local rate of inflation and a highly competitive trading environment," Glendinning said.