Vehicle exports for August 2020 recorded a huge decline of 20 623 vehicles or 46,9% compared to the 43 960 vehicles exported in August 2019, which was the highest monthly total on record. The performance for the year to date now reflected a fall of 104 627 units or 40% compared to the level of the same period last year.

New vehicle demand improved slightly compared to the performance of the previous two months as South Africa’s lockdown restrictions eased further to Level 2 in August 2020. However, activity in the new vehicle market is expected to remain low for the remainder of the year due to the uncertainties relating to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and as consumers and businesses continue to adapt to short-term budget pressures.

Furthermore, not only will the economy have to contend with consequences of the economic lockdown, it now has to deal with further rolling blackouts which comes at the worst possible time for the South African economy. Eskom announced that the heightened risk of load-shedding will haunt the South African economy for another year. All this point to an already hard-hit economy with no expectations for a quick recovery any time soon.

Vehicle export numbers seemed to have recovered to some extent, which bodes well for local manufacturers, although the numbers are still way off the same point last year. Positive news is that the domestic automotive industry’s major export destinations are starting to ease their lockdown restrictions with many actively stimulating their new vehicle markets with financial government incentives.

Download the full NAAMSA media release below as well as the August 2020 Industry New Vehicle Sales.