South African new vehicle sales plunged 36.3% to 29,471 units in February, reflecting a deteriorating economic situation.
Naamsa data also showed that New car sales at were off 34.1% in the month at 18,156 units.
For the first two months of 2009, aggregate new vehicle sales declined by 36.2% on last year to 65,529 units.
Exports were also down as overseas demand slumped.
Naamsa said that the decline in the domestic sales volumes and export sales reflect the impact of low levels of domestic demand and business confidence and depressed foreign demand associated with the global recession.
The sharp decline in consumer and business spending on new vehicles in South Africa is a reflection of the high interest rate environment compounded by the inability of many customers currently to obtain vehicle finance, Naamsa said.
Naamsa also said that it was anticipated that ‘any recovery would only eventuate in 2010 or 2011’.