New vehicle sales were up 18.9% year-on-year to 52,338 in October, according to NAAMSA, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa.

Sales for the first ten months of 2011 were up 16.5%. 

October passenger car sales rose 19.8% to 36,826 units. The best selling model was the locally-built VW Polo Vivo with 2,443 deliveries. 

Sales of new light commercial vehicles, pick-ups (known locally as bakkies) and minibuses improved 15.6% to 12,994 units with the Toyota Hilux the best-seller with 3,486 units. 

Vehicle exports declined to 25,860 units in the month, down from 26,572 in October 2010.

NAAMSA expects new vehicle exports to reach around 280,000 units this year.