South Africans buy locally manufactured cars

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When it comes to buying new vehicles, South Africans have a growing preference for purchasing locally made cars, according to year-to-date sales data from WesBank and Naamsa. Sales records from January to July 2017 show that nine of the 10 top-selling cars and bakkies are models built in South Africa – accounting for 34.1% of passenger car and light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales, year-to-date.

“It’s remarkable that nine of the top ten sellers are South African, especially with more than 350 models on sale today,” said Rudolf Mahoney. “This incredible demand for locally built vehicles perfectly illustrates how important the motor industry is to the local economy and consumers.”

Between January and the end of July, a total 301 486 passenger cars and LCVs were sold countrywide. Of the 358 different models on sale this year, only 25 are built in South Africa. Despite only representing 7% of all models on sale, South African-built cars enjoy a healthy 45.5% of sales, compared to the 54.5% sales share for the 326 imported models on sale.

Bakkies remain the most popular, accounting for 55% of year-to-date sales among SA-built vehicles. Bakkies form part of the LCV segment, which also includes minibuses and light vehicles that have been refitted for commercial use. Between 2012 and 2016, the LCV segment grew 7.1%, while total vehicle sales over that period declined 18.8%.

“Bakkies aren’t just commercial vehicles anymore, consumers are also using them to enable their lifestyles. Locally built passenger cars also fill a need: many of them are mainstream models that fill the need for affordable transport,” said Mahoney. “Consumers aren’t necessarily buying these models because they’re local. Rather, it’s a case of manufacturers choosing to build these models locally because there is high demand. However, the result benefits both parties.”

The 10 top-selling passenger cars for 2017, year-to-date:

Name                                                        Source

VW Polo Vivo                                            Local

VW Polo                                                    Local

TOYOTA Fortuner                                     Local

TOYOTA Etios                                          Import

TOYOTA Corolla Quest                             Local

FORD Fiesta                                             Import

FORD EcoSport                                        Import

VW Polo Vivo Sedan                                 Local

RENAULT Kwid                                         Import

TOYOTA RAV                                            Import


The 10 top-selling bakkies for 2017, year-to-date:

Name                                                        Source

TOYOTA Hilux                                          Local

FORD Ranger                                          Local

NISSAN NP200                                        Local

ISUZU KB                                                 Local

NISSAN NP300                                        Local

CHEV Utility                                             Local

HYUNDAI H100 Bakkie                           Local and import

TOYOTA Landcruiser PU                        Import

VW Amarok                                             Import

VW Caddy                                               Import


About Author

Bontle Moeng is the Founder and Managing Director of BizNis Africa. Moeng has spent 15 years working in the digital and online media industry across Africa. She applied her trade at True Love magazine prior to discovering her passion for Investment news in key sectors across Africa. Moeng previously worked for ITWeb, Starfish Mobile Technologies, ITNewsAfrica, AVATAR Agency, eNitiate, Global Interface Consulting and Havas Johannesburg. Her primary focus is to provide solid and valuable content on investment opportunities for the ICT, Energy and Mining sectors across Africa. In addition, the online news publication assists global companies to expand their presence in Africa. Email:

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