South Africa’s new vehicle sales are set to decline 1.0% in 2019, according to WesBank, the country’s leading vehicle finance provider. WesBank CEO Chris de Kock delivered the bank’s view of the market and its annual sales prediction at the 2019 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards in Midrand, Gauteng.
South African consumers have become prudent with their personal financial planning, thanks to erratic fuel prices and high inflation – both dictated by the exchange rate. This is evident in buying patterns, with data showing consumers either delaying purchases or buying downwards, moving out of the premium market and into the mainstream segments.
This year, hope for the motor industry comes in the form of more lenient visa rules for tourists. This is expected to boost travel and tourism, which will be welcome news for the rental market. Alleviated drought conditions in Cape Town are also likely to have a positive impact on this market, especially with an anticipated increase in domestic business travel. Despite this, WesBank predicts that overall sales of passenger vehicles will decline 1.5% in 2019.