The South African motoring industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, with the latest sales figures for new vehicles sold in April dropping by 98.4%.
According to a statement by Michael Mabasa, president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa [NAAMSA] “The 98,4% drop in new vehicle sales is a true reflection of the South African economy at the back of a 35-day hard lockdown where economic activity was not possible because the country prudently elected to support the imperative to contain the COVID-19 virus and save lives.”
The drop off of 98.4% in sales means that during the month of April, only 574 new vehicles were purchased across the entire country. Equally, export sales at 901 units also registered a huge fall of 31 928 units or a decline of 97,3% compared to the 32 829 vehicles exported in April last year.
-As to who exactly purchased the 574 vehicles during this time :
-An estimated 47,9% represented dealer sales.
-37,8% sales to government.
-12,4% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry.
-1,9% to industry corporate fleets.
All of this translates into low business and consumer confidence, which will cause a delay in big purchases such as vehicles. While some easing of restrictions from May should aid a slow recovery in coming months, a lot of manufacturing capacity will remain idle for some time.