The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) reports that vehicle sales in South Africa increased by 5% in September. The association said that all vehicle sales totalled 30,654 units, continuing the improving trend of recent months.

New car sales were 3.5% ahead of year-ago levels in September, reaching 20,137 units. Commercial vehicles also registered gains over last year.

NAAMSA said that with three quarters of 2002 accounted for, the industry appeared on target to reach levels close to the new vehicle sales numbers achieved during 2001.

Demand in the final quarter of the year is expected to be supported by ‘positive momentum in the South African economy’ as well as major product launches such as a new locally-built Toyota Corolla.

There will also be some lift from the automotive exhibition "Auto Africa Expo 2002" to be held at the National Exhibition Centre, Johannesburg from 21st through 27th October 2002.

However, NAAMSA struck a cautious note on the longer term outlook, saying that the ‘domestic new car and commercial vehicle trading environment was expected to remain challenging’.