New car sales in South Africa hit a new record level in June despite a recent interest rate increase and continued petrol price increases.

Overall new vehicle sales in June were 56,952 units, 13.8% ahead of last year's level according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). Naamsa commented that new vehicle sales showed further consolidation, but the new car market and the heavy truck segment have maintained their impressive growth momentum.

Sales in all segments registered an improvement compared to the same month last year.

"June 2006 new car sales [42,405 units], despite the interest rate increase early in the month and stock shortages experienced by some motor vehicle manufacturers, represented by far the strongest June month sales performance on record and reflected an improvement of 6,016 new cars or 18.7% compared with the 32,113 new cars sold during June 2005," Naamsa said in a press statement.

For the first half of 2006, the new car market, in terms of new car sales reported through Naamsa, is 18.8% ahead of the corresponding six months last year.

However, Naamsa sounded a note of caution on the outlook and said that 'some further consolidation was anticipated during the second half of the year on the back of the recent and possible further increases in interest rates, higher energy and vehicle operating costs and pressure on new vehicle pricing'. 

For the balance of the year, Naamsa said, sales of new motor vehicles should continue to grow, but at a slower pace - particularly since going forward comparisons would be against the sharply higher sales levels recorded during the second half of last year.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more