The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) said new vehicle sales had registered another outstanding month with sales for May 2005 at 45,867 units up 11,520 vehicles or 33.5% year on year.

Year to date, new vehicle sales were 27.1% ahead of the corresponding five months of 2005.

May new car sales of 30,060 units set a record and reflected a gain of 7,749 units or 347% compared to the 22,311 new cars sold during May 2004. Year to date sales volumes were 29% ahead of last year.

Improved stock availability assisted sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies (pickup trucks) and minibuses which, at 13,340 units in May 2005, reflected an improvement of 2,912 vehicles or 28% compared to the 10,421 unit sales a year ago.

Sales of vehicles in the medium and heavy truck segments of the industry continued to register further remarkable gains and the May 2005 sales of 1,177 units and 1,290 units, were up 570 units or 93.9% and 282 units or 27.9%, respectively. These figures suggested continued strong positive fixed investment in the transport sector and the broader economy.

Export sales of South African-produced vehicles during the first four months of 2005 at 31,097 units were up 1.2% or 365 vehicles compared to the 30,732 vehicles exported during the first four months of 2004.

The industry's outlook for the balance of 2005 is "fairly positive".

"The further reduction interest rates during April, stable new vehicles prices, ongoing attractive sales incentives, the introduction of technologically more advanced models with additional features generally at no extra cost to buyers and strong consumer sentiment would continue to support new vehicle sales during the balance of 2005," NAAMSA said.