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Decline in MCV sales reflects distressed economy

The depressed economy is reflected in the continuing slide in the sale of Medium Commercial Vehicles in South Africa.

Decline in Medium Commercial Vehicles in South Africa. The depressed economy is reflected in the continuing slide in the sale of Medium Commercial Vehicles in South Africa. The slowdown in business and a general lack of confidence is impacting severely on the operations of many of the smaller companies that purchase this category of vehicle.

Sales for the first two months of 2016 were 14,6% below the figure at the same time last year and the lowest total since 2012, at a total of 1183 Medium Commercial Vehicles units. Month on month sales, namely February 2016 versus February 2015, shows a decline of 12,9%. Mercedes-Benz SA is once again not providing detailed sales figures but only total sales per commercial vehicle category, so there is no split between Sprinter and Canter sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicles segment.

According to NAAMSA the outlook for total vehicle sales in 2016 remains bleak at this stage. NAAMSA reports: “February sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry at 659 units and 1 503 units have registered weakness and, in the case of Medium Commercial Vehicles, reflected a decline of 98 units, or 12,9%, and in the case of heavy trucks and buses, a decline of 35 vehicles, or a fall of 2,3%, compared to the corresponding month last year.

Mercedes-Benz SA is once again not providing detailed sales figures but only total sales per commercial vehicle category, so there is no split between Sprinter and Canter sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicles segment.

Decline-in-MCV2“Domestically, given the difficult economic environment and low GDP growth prospects, exchange rate pressures, the reality of price increases and expectations of further interest rate hikes, the outlook for 2016 in terms of domestic sales remained constrained. “New commercial vehicle sales are expected to reflect a decline of around 5% overall in volume terms.“

Medium truck market (3 501-8 500kg GVM) at the end of February 2016

  • 2016 February 659
  • 2016 January 524
  • 2016 Year-to-date 1 183
  • (Year-to-date 2015: 1 386)

In January & February 2016, local truck companies exported 33 medium truck units.

Notes:

  • Decline-in-MCV3These retail sales figures were supplied by Lightstone Auto the independent provider of South African new vehicle sales information to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the automotive industry.
  • NOTE: These figures include aggregate figures in the various vehicle categories for Mercedes- Benz SA and Associated Motor Holdings (AMH). For the time being Mercedes-Benz South Africa (Pty) Ltd will only report aggregated sales data. The MBSA commercial market split volumes are estimates based on historical trends and forecasting techniques by Lightstone Auto.
  • The commercial vehicle figures provided by MBSA for February 2016 are: Medium commercials – 161.
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Tristan Wiggill
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