LOCAL sales for three vehicle models grew by over 50% in 2014, bucking the trend as other models recorded a drop in sales, a reflection of the state of the economy and rising grey imports.
BY OUR STAFF
Latest industry statistics showed that sales for Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge (classified as one model), GWM and Isuzu increased by 66,7%, 55% and 52,2% respectively.
The United States-manufactured Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge added 48 units in 2014 to 120 as a few privileged locals shifted to “expensive” tastes.
The cars are distributed by Zimoco.
This represents a major recovery as sales of the vehicles in 2013 were 34,5% lower than 2012 sales.
Sales for the Chinese-manufactured GWM closed the year at 62 from 40 units in 2013.
The figure is far off the 2011 sales of 202 units.
Zimoco is the distributor of the GWM vehicles.
The Japanese made Isuzu, distributed by Autoworld, added 175 units to close at 510 in 2014.
While the above three models were up in terms of sales, total industry volume took a knock with sales dipping by 15% to 4 589 last year from 5 408 in 2013.
Other vehicle models such as Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes, Land Rover and Jaguar among others saw sales heading southwards.
The motor industry has been resilient in the wake of an influx of pre-owned vehicles mainly from Japan and the absence of financing from banks to assist locals to buy new cars.
In South Africa, prospective buyers are financed by banks.
Local banks are constrained due to the tough environment that has spawned rising loan defaults among lenders.
The pre-owned imports from Japan and United Kingdom become affordable compared to new cars in the absence of financing from banks.
In 2013, grey imports totalled 60 000.
At its peak in 1997, demand for new vehicles reached 35 000.
The overall agricultural growth for 2015 is projected at 3,4%.