New Vehicle Sales – October 2017

1,100 New vehicles were sold in October, a decrease of 3.6% m/m and 6.7% y/y. Year-to-date 11,535 new vehicles have been sold, an 18.6% decrease on October last year. On a rolling 12-month basis 13,878 new vehicles have been sold in Namibia, down 20.6% from October 2016, and down 38.8% from peak 12-month cumulative number of vehicles sales in April 2015. New vehicle sales continue to decline on a year-to-date and cumulative basis, reflecting the pressure that individuals and businesses, as well as government, are experiencing in the current economic climate.

A total of 452 new passenger vehicles were sold during October, up 2.0% m/m but down 2.6% y/y. Year-to-date passenger vehicle sales rose to 4,873, down 18.1% compared to the number sold by October last year. On a rolling 12-month basis passenger vehicle sales are at their lowest level since April 2012. On a year-to-date basis passenger vehicle sales are currently between 2011 and 2012 year-to-date figures for October, highlighting the extent of the slowdown.

Commercial vehicle sales reflect a similar picture, down 19.1% year-to-date and 21.9% on a rolling 12-month basis. A total of 648 new commercial vehicles were sold in October and 6,662 have been sold year-to-date. Light commercial vehicle sales are down 36.1% from their peak, slightly less than the 40.9% that passenger vehicle sales are down. Medium commercial vehicle sales are down 50.1% from their peak, while heavy commercial vehicles are down 46.6% since peaking in December 2015. Total new commercial vehicle sales are down 10.0% m/m, with medium commercial vehicle sales declining 30.8% from last month, light commercial vehicle sales declining 9.8% m/m, and heavy commercial vehicle sales increasing 3.0% m/m.

Toyota continues to lead the market for new vehicle sales with 34.9% of the passenger vehicle market and 48.2% of the light commercial market for the year thus far. Volkswagen holds the second place with 24.6% of passenger vehicle sales, while Nissan takes second place in the light commercial vehicles category with 16.5% of sales this year. Ford retains the third position in both passenger and light commercial new vehicle sales on a year to date basis. Hino leads the medium commercial vehicle category with 34.6% of sales while Scania remains number one in the heavy and extra-heavy commercial vehicle segment with 32.6% of the market share year to date.

The Bottom Line

Cumulative vehicle sales continue to contract on a rolling 12-month basis, and year-to-date vehicle sales figures are still below 2012 levels. This is a reflection of depressed business and consumer confidence, as well as slowed government spending on new vehicles. Tighter credit conditions have only exacerbated the above conditions. The current interest rate environment remains precarious as inflation is likely to pick up following the depreciation of the rand as well as due to higher US$ oil prices. Should a rate hiking cycle commence consumers will come under further pressure. Household debt to disposable incomes have been rising making consumers more susceptible to interest rate hikes.

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