Naamsa today confirmed that it will no longer use the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa in its naming conventions because the Association now represents a wider community of stakeholders across the automotive value chain. Traditionally, we were established to primarily represent the interests of local vehicle manufacturers. Our mandate has since evolved to include not only Manufacturing OEMs, but also Retailing OEMs and Heavy Commercial OEMs in South Africa.
“We proudly have an extended mandate and our mission is to actively and responsibly promote, represent, advance and protect all our members’ collective and non-competitive interests across the automotive value chain. naamsa plays an indispensable transformative role, and through all our members, we contribute to the sustainable development of the country’s productive economy, we add value to the automotive industry stakeholders and create prosperity for the people of South Africa”, said Mikel MABASA, naamsa CEO.
“Our strategic evolution is very important to our work and to the growth and development of our sector. We are convinced that the automotive industry is going to change faster in the next ten years than it has in the last hundred years. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve invited other like-minded companies who have interest in the automotive industry to
join naamsa as Associate Members so that they can directly influence the transformative direction we have set for ourselves. It is this reason that naamsa, from today forward, will be referred to as naamsa | the Automotive Business Council and not the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa.
Reflecting on the new vehicle sales statistics for the month of February 2021 naamsa said that, in line with industry expectations, the new year got off to a slow start in terms of new vehicle sales considering that comparisons were still with the pre-COVID-19 first two months of 2020. Aggregate domestic sales in February 2021, at 37 521 units, reflected a decline of 5 775 units, or 13,3%, from the 43 296 vehicles sold in February last year.
Export sales also recorded a decline in February 2021 and at 29 582 units reflected a drop of 2 561 units, or 8,0%, compared to the 32 143 vehicles exported in February 2020.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 37 521 vehicles, an estimated 31 635 units, or 84,3%, represented dealer sales, an estimated 10,0% represented sales to the vehicle rental industry, 3,4% sales to government, and 2,3% to industry corporate fleets.
The February 2021 new passenger car market at 24 270 units had registered a decline of 5 352 cars, or a fall of 18,1%, compared to the 29 622 new cars sold in February 2020. The car rental industry accounted for a sound 14,4% of car sales in February 2021.
Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini-buses at 11 246 units during February 2021 had recorded a modest decline of 370 units, or a fall of 3,2%, from the 11 616 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
Sales for medium and heavy truck segments of the industry reflected a mixed performance and at 560 units and 1 445 units, respectively, showed a decline of 97 units, or 14,8% in the case of medium commercial vehicles, and, in the case of heavy trucks and buses an increase of 44 vehicles, or a gain of 3,1%, compared to the corresponding month last year.
The February 2021 exports sales number at 29 582 units reflected a decline of 2 561 vehicles or 8,0% compared to the 32 143 vehicles exported in February 2020. Despite the decline, the vehicle export volumes have been steadily gaining traction and for the first two months of 2021 vehicle exports are now 3 895 units above the corresponding period last year.
The performance of the new vehicle market for the first two months of 2021, compared with the pre-COVID first two months of 2020, continues to reflect the economic and social challenges in South Africa considering that the country’s economy was already in a recession before the outbreak of the global health pandemic. Although a rebound in the new vehicle market is anticipated from March 2021 onwards, compared to the low-base affected COVID-19 corresponding months in 2020, it is likely that both business and consumer confidence will remain subdued over the balance of the year. naamsa welcomes the February 2021 Budget tax relief naamsa announcements for individual taxpayers, which will reduce the tax burden on mainly the lower and middle-income households, as well as the corporate income tax rate, which was lowered to 27% for companies. These measures, along with the current low interest rates, low inflation environment, as well as the roll-out of the vaccine in South Africa will aim to support to the new vehicle market over the short to medium term, despite other above cost of living increases such as the hefty rise in the price of electricity of over 15% this year.
Vehicle export numbers continue to gain upward momentum and will be supported by the rebound in global economic growth projected for 2021, spurred by mass vaccination campaigns in various countries to taper the COVID-19 pandemic. An improvement in the economic climate of the South African automotive industry’s main trading partners will stimulate demand for higher vehicle sales, and subsequently, will result in increased vehicle exports of South African manufactured vehicles to those countries.