The South African commercial vehicle market once again showed resilience amidst challenging economic conditions, to end the first half of 2018 with just a slight year-on-year decline of 1.3%.  A total of 12 555 commercial vehicles has been sold so far this year.

This is according to the latest results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD).

Meanwhile statistics show that South Africa’s economy shrank from a quarter earlier, contracting 2.2%, which is the largest quarter-on-quarter decline since the first quarter of 2009.

“Economic prospects look set to ride out the recent sluggishness of industrial output.  In addition, we believe that the stable current government will lead to more investment in infrastructure that in turn will increase commercial vehicle sales,” commented Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.

He said that the commercial vehicle market decline can mainly be attributed to the decrease in Medium and Heavy Commercial vehicle sales, which haven’t really picked up so far this year.

Sales in the MCV segment is down 7.1% so far this year to 3 644 units, while the HCV segment saw a 6.3% decline to 2 482 units when compared to the same period in 2017. The Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment gained 5.0% during the first half of the year, to 5 967 units. Bus sales are also down by a marginal 1.3% to 462 units.

“All things considered, we still believe that the market will end 2018 in the black, even if it is with a very slight margin, to reach around 25 400 units,” said Swanepoel.