According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses declined during June by 0, 4% compared to the numbers sold during the corresponding month last year.
Sales in the medium and heavy truck segments reflected a mixed picture. The former recorded a decrease of 2, 9% while the latter improved by 165 vehicles or 10, 1% compared to June 2017.
The Association says the decline in the leading indicator of the South African Reserve Bank over the past two months suggested a challenging economic environment going forward.
It added that new vehicle sales during the second half of a calendar year tended to show improvement on first half sales. This reinforced its expectations of a modest annual improvement in 2018 domestic sales volumes compared to 2017.
NAAMSA continued to project growth in export sales over the balance of the year.
However, the industry’s export performance was likely to be affected by current protectionist policies in the United States, which had increased the risk of a global trade war. This could impact on international trade flows, which include vehicle exports.