South Africa's vehicle market continued to show a weakening trend in September with sales of 40,955 units - an 18.1% decline on the same month last year.

NAAMSA dated also showed new car sales at 25,349 units - a decline of 21.4% on last year.

However, the trade organisation noted that exports continue to show an upward trend.

Striking an optimistic tone, it also said that there were indications that the inflation and interest rate cycles were close to a peak. Inflationary pressures were likely to abate during 2009 with interest rates following suit, NAAMSA said.

NAAMSA said the second half of 2009 was likely to see an improvement in the financial position of consumers and stronger economic activity levels giving rise to optimism of a recovery in demand of new motor vehicles from about the middle of next year.