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SA LCV market holding up reasonably well in tight trading environment

The SA LCV market is holding up reasonably well after the first eight months of a year, in which the overall vehicle market has plummeted 10,8%. The SA LCV market has only dropped by 7,5%, with sales driven largely by aggressive marketing emanating from the battle for supremacy between the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

The SA LCV market has been driven largely by aggressive marketing emanating from the battle for supremacy between the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger
SA LCV market up to aug 2016

Sales for the eight months totalled 100 714 units compared to 108 885 units in the same period last year. LCV exports were also down, but only by 4,9% and these are expected to improve in the remainder of the year.

Hilux continues to rule the roost in not only the one-ton bakkie market, but also as the best-selling vehicle in South Africa with sales of 24 018 units compared to the Ranger’s 20 707.

However, Ranger has just added nine models to its line-up to take the range to 36 models. Toyota is not standing still, though, and announced at the SA Festival of Motoring that it was updating a number of its models even though the latest generation of this South African favourite has not even been on the local market for a year yet.

These two brands also know that competition is going to heat up in the coming months as new models arrive from Renault (Alsaskan), Mitsubishi (Triton), Nissan (new Navara) and Mercedes-Benz (possibly named X-Class or GLT).

Already the latest Triton has arrived in SA dressed up as the Fiat Fullback, while it has been announced that the next generation Mazda BT-50 will be derived from the upcoming new Isuzu KB instead of being based on the Ford Ranger.

It is interesting to see how the value-for-money offerings in the one-ton segment seems to be hitting sales of the half-tonners, with the Nissan NP200 and Chevrolet Utility both losing substantially in the sales stakes. The NP200 has fallen from third a year ago to fifth while the Chev has slipped from fourth to sixth.

Let’s see how the rest of the year pans out in this very competitive market. It promises to be an enthralling battleground.

Sales figures by NAAMSA

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Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa
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