New vehicle sales of 1,194 units were recorded in July, with sales falling by 7.0% from the 1,284 new vehicles sold in July 2017. On a month-on-month basis new vehicle sales increased by 5.3% as 60 more vehicles were sold in July than in June. Year-to-date, 7,132 new vehicles have been sold, an 11.4% decrease from the number of sales recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. Of the 7,132 vehicles sold this year, 3,275 were passenger vehicles, 3,527 were light commercial vehicles, and 330 were medium and heavy commercial vehicles. On a twelve-month cumulative basis, a total of 12,281 new vehicles were sold as at July 2018, a decrease of 13.2% from the 14,147 sold over the comparable period a year ago. Thus on a twelve month cumulative basis new vehicle sales are still declining as the Namibian economy continues to languish.
A total of 607 new passenger vehicles were sold during July, representing an increase of 30.5% m/m and 22.4% y/y. Year-to-date passenger vehicle sales amounted to 3,275, down 7.1% compared to the number sold by July last year. The rolling 12-month vehicles sales figures continue to reflect weakness in the number of passenger vehicles sold, declining 10.3% y/y as at July 2018.
587 Commercial vehicles were sold in July, representing a 12.3% m/m and 25.5% y/y contraction. 525 light commercial vehicles, 31 medium commercial vehicles, and 31 heavy commercial vehicles were sold during the month. On a year-on-year basis, light commercial sales have declined by a hefty 29.2%, medium commercial sales increased 72.2% and heavy and extra heavy sales rose by 10.7%. On a twelve-month cumulative basis, commercial vehicle sales remain depressed with light commercial vehicle sales decreasing by 15.8% y/y, medium commercial vehicle sales remaining flat and heavy commercial vehicle sales dropping by 14.6% y/y. We prefer to look at the twelve-month cumulative figures as they give an indication of the trend in vehicle sales. For the most part this measure of new vehicle sales remains firmly in contractionary territory, with only medium commercial vehicle sales showing some evidence of having reached a turnaround point.
Year-to-date, Toyota and Volkswagen continue to hold their market share in the passenger vehicle market based on the number of new vehicles sold, claiming 37.8% and 27.1% of the market respectively. They were followed by Hyundai at 5.1% and Kia at 4.6%, while the rest of the passenger vehicle market was shared by several competitors.
Toyota also remained the leader in the light commercial vehicle space with a robust 59.8% market share with Nissan in second place with a 14.6% share. Ford and Isuzu claimed 9.2% and 5.4%, respectively, of the number of light commercial vehicles sold so far in 2018. Hino leads the medium commercial vehicle category with 43.5% of sales while Scania remains number one in the heavy and extra-heavy commercial vehicle segment with 32.2% of the market share year to date.
The Bottom Line
The cumulative number of new vehicle sales continued to contract on a 12-month basis, amounting to 12,281 at the end of July. Year-on-year, the 12-month cumulative number of new vehicles sold has contracted by 13.2% from the 14,147 cumulative sales recorded in July 2017. While passenger vehicle sales have picked up on both a monthly and annual basis in July, commercial vehicle sales remain depressed, and overall sales remain well below the figures seen in 2015 and 2016. Low government spending on capital assets, slow economic growth and disposable income growth as well as amendments to the credit agreement act have been identified as the main impediments on new vehicle sales. These factors coupled with a weakening currency and increasing fuel prices make it unlikely that significant recovery in vehicle sales can be expected for the rest of the year.