26 Jan 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JAN (NAMPA) A total of 1 190 vehicles were sold during the month of December 2013, which represents a drop in monthly vehicle sales, according to statistics issued by Simonis Storm Securities here on Thursday.
An Economist at Simonis Storm Securities, Daniel Kavishe said in a media statement that this number translated to a 24.4 per cent drop in monthly sales but a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent.
Year to date vehicle sales stand at 16 053 units, thus confirming our initial estimates that year-end sales will exceed 15 000 units. Historical data suggests that sales generally decline during the month of December, as consumers and businesses reign in their appetite for vehicles, he said.
The monthly drop in sales represents a dip which is synonymous to the season.
About government vehicle purchases during last month, Kavishe said it hit bottom with no direct purchases from this channel.
He made reference to certain local car dealers, which indicated that the government rarely issues tenders for vehicle purchases as the year draws to an end.
This may have attributed to the lower sales numbers recorded during the intervening period, according to him.
Light commercial vehicles once again lead the pack with sales that amounted to 569 units. Passenger vehicle sales tailed slightly behind with 567 units sold during the same period.
The two categories amounted to 95 per cent of the total vehicles sold and this was mainly supported by sales from Toyota and Volkswagen, which sold 369 units and 177 units, respectively.
BMW and Mercedes sold half their usual stock with six units and 32 units, respectively during December.
Amongst the luxury vehicles, Audi retained its monthly sales with 17 units sold.
Kavishe said the low interest rate environment has led to a situation where demand outstrips supply. Supply constraints were further exacerbated by negotiations between South African Transport and Allied Workers union and vehicle manufacturers.
Car dealers are convinced that the spill-over effects of the strikes will linger during the first quarter of 2014.
During the course of 2013, new vehicle sales averaged 1 337 units on a monthly basis.
Kavishe also made reference to statistics issued by Namport that an average of 2 000 second-hand vehicles enter the country on a monthly basis.
This suggested that the port handled an estimated 3 337 vehicle units every month during 2013. This number augments the need to expedite port expansion, according to him.
Passenger vehicle sales declined sharply from November to December.
Kavishe noted that on a monthly basis, the sales declined by 23 per cent - the sharpest decline recoded over the past two years. The year-on-year sales painted a different picture though with a 15 per cent rise in sales within the category.
Light commercial vehicles sales stood at 569 in December, a month-on-month decrease of 24 per cent but a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent.
The category of heavy commercial vehicles saw a decrease with 12 units sold in December versus 18 units sold the previous month.
Medium commercial vehicles declined by 34 per cent to 25 units, while heavy commercial vehicles declined by 33 per cent to 12 units.