PRETORIA, South Africa — While the South African motor industry was living up to its international standards at the Johannesburg International Motor Show, consumers continued to visit new vehicle showrooms during October.
Global affirmation of the importance of the South African market to Ford globally could not have been reinforced more than by Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally’s visit to the country last month for the Johannesburg International Motor show.
“While the country reveled in Transport Month awareness and the glory of the motor show, actual sales declined the highest amount year-on-year in October,” said FMCSA’s Vice President Marketing, Sales and Service, Mark Kaufman. “The realities of the industrial action during September really only ended in the first of October and this continued to impact sales through the month, although the industry will still enjoy one of its best sales results this year.”
New vehicle sales climbed 3.7% on September to 56 927 units according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa). Year-on-year sales declined 2.9%, although the market climbed through the half-a-million unit’s milestone during October, year-to-date sales 3.9% ahead of the same period last year.
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa continues to out-pace the market, growing sales 3.5% on September with a 10.7% share of industry. Ford sales are up 38% year-to-date and the brand continues to enjoy strong share of the market driven by sustained Figo volume (1 404 units) and good recovery in Ranger sales with 1 516 units sold to South African customers.
EcoSport sales maintained the new cross-over’s segment leadership with an unabated 548, while Ford’s Everest recorded its second-best sales month since launch with 215 units.
“Good news is that demand at retail level remains incredibly strong,” said Kaufman. “Over 80% of sales continue to be done through dealerships, driven primarily by sustained low interest rates. While growth rates year-on-year look perceptively lower than experienced earlier this year, we shouldn’t forget that the market was already performing strongly towards the end of 2012 and the market remains on track with most forecasts for the year.”