Naamsa’s review of automotive business conditions: New motor vehicle manufacturing industry for 4th quarter 2022

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) recently released its
new vehicle sales report.

Key features for the fourth quarter of 2022 are:

New vehicle sales increased by 16% compared to the corresponding quarter 2021 but only by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter 2022 highlighting the above expectations performance in 2022 but at the same time the impact of supply chain disruptions and economic pressures on the new vehicle market.

New energy vehicle sales by 15 industry brands increased by 66% from 953 units in the third quarter to 1 583 units in the fourth quarter 2022 and year-on-year by a significant 431.7% in 2022.

Fourth quarter 2022 industry employment reflected a decline of 823 jobs to reach 33 477 positions at end December 2022 but still reflected an overall positive performance for the full year.

Average industry capacity utilisation levels during the fourth quarter 2022 continued to recover from the severe impact of the KwaZulu-Natal flooding disaster earlier in the year despite a Transnet strike and consequent force majeure declared along with persistent loadshedding during the quarter.

Aggregate capital expenditure by the major vehicle manufacturers in 2022 amounted to R7.1 billion, linked to new generation model investments.

Fourth quarter 2022 domestic vehicle production reflected an increase of 25.7% compared to the corresponding quarter 2021, with all segments reflecting growth in line with higher domestic demand and export growth.

During the fourth quarter 2022 vehicle exports increased by 31.1% to 88 394 units compared to the 67 410 units exported in the corresponding quarter 2021, despite a deteriorating global economic environment.

The Naamsa CEOs Confidence Index, as an in-house leading business confidence indicator of current and future developments in the domestic automotive industry, reflects the sentiment expressed by the Naamsa CEOs for the fourth quarter 2022 compared to the fourth quarter 2021 as well as automotive business conditions and the country’s economy in general for the next 6 months.

Despite the drop in exports, however, domestic sales were up. The industry reported total sales of 45 352 vehicles, comprising dealer sales, rental industry sales, and sales to government and industry corporate fleets.

The breakdown of these four segments is as follows: Dealers represented 83.6% of sales, with an estimated 37 091 units sold; The rental industry represented 9% of sales; Government sales represented 5.1% of sales and industry corporate fleets represented 2.3% of sales.

The automotive industry contributes 4.3% to South Africa’s GDP, said Naamsa.