New Vehicle Sales – May 2018

A total of 918 new vehicles were sold in May, representing an 11.3% m/m increase from the 825 vehicles sold in April, but 20.5% lower than in May 2017 when 1,155 new vehicles were sold. Year-to-date 4,804 vehicles have been sold of which 2,203 were passenger vehicles, 2,395 light commercial vehicles, and 206 medium and heavy commercial vehicles. From a rolling 12-month basis, a total of 12,438 new vehicles were sold at May 2018, representing a contraction of 16.1% from the 14,822 sold over the comparable period a year ago.

A total of 374 new passenger vehicles were sold during May, just 1 more than in April. From a year-on-year perspective however, May 2018 new passenger vehicle sales were 116 units lower than the 490 sold a year ago. The rolling 12-month vehicle sales continue to reflect weakness in the number of passenger vehicles sold, declining 15.2% as at May. Year-to-date passenger vehicle sales rose to 2,203, reflecting a 12.2% decline from May 2017.

544 Commercial vehicles were sold in May, representing a 20.4% m/m increase, but a contraction of 18.2% y/y. During the month, 507 light commercial vehicles, 18 medium commercial vehicles and 19 heavy commercial vehicles were sold. On a year-on-year basis, light commercial sales have declined by 15.5%, medium commercial sales contracted 28% and heavy and extra heavy sales have declined by 51.3%. On a twelve-month cumulative basis, commercial vehicle sales remain depressed with light commercial vehicle sales decreasing by 17.9% y/y, medium commercial vehicle sales declining 0.4% and heavy commercial vehicle sales dropping by 4.9% y/y.

Year-to-date, Toyota and Volkswagen continue to hold a strong market share in the passenger vehicle market based on the number of new vehicles sold, claiming 36.4% and 28.5% of the market respectively. They were followed by Hyundai and Kia at 5.4% and 4.7% respectively, while the rest of the passenger vehicle market continues to be shared by several competitors.

Toyota also remains the leader in the light commercial vehicle space with a 58.0% market share, with Nissan in second place with a 16.3% share. Ford and Isuzu claimed 7.6% and 6.0% of the number of light commercial vehicles for the year, respectively. Hino leads the medium commercial vehicle category with 43.3% of sales while Scania remains number one in the heavy and extra-heavy commercial vehicle segment with 23.3% of the market share year to date.

The Bottom Line

The outlook for new vehicle sales remains bleak with the cumulative number of new vehicle sales as at the end of May amounting to 12,438, representing a decline of over 45% from the peak of 22,664 new vehicle sales recorded in April 2015. Year-on-year, the cumulative number of new vehicles sold have contracted by 16.1% from the 14,822 cumulative sales recorded in May 2017. Preliminary national accounts released by the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) estimates that the Namibian economy contracted by 0.8% in 2017. New vehicle sales statistics are a lagging indicator, acting as a proxy of the depressed economic conditions present at moment. Reduced government spending, on capital assets in particular, continues to have an effect on the number of new vehicles sold. Tighter credit controls have further curbed consumer’s access to credit financing normally used for new vehicle purchases. The year-on-year decline in new vehicle sales further suggests that vehicle owners are holding on to the vehicles they already own. The Bank of Namibia today announced that the MPC decided to keep the repo rate unchanged, which means consumers and businesses alike will not be provided any reprieve in lowering their current debt servicing cost.

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