New car sales totaled 1,004 units in April 2023, reflecting a 10% year-on-year increase but an 18.1% monthly decline.

This information was revealed by Cirrus Capital, a Namibian-owned financial services firm, in its vehicle sales report.

While this is fewer than the 1,226 units sold in March 2023 and the 1,103 units sold in February 2023, it is the third month in a row that new vehicle sales have surpassed 1,000 units, with commercial vehicle sales outnumbering passenger vehicle sales by 68 units.

It stated that for the second month in a row, commercial vehicles dominated new vehicle sales, which increased by 22.1% year-on-year but fell 17.7% month-on-month.

Passenger vehicle sales increased a little by 0.4% year-on-year but fell 18.6% month-on-month.

It also reported that rental agencies purchased 52 units, a considerable decrease from the 113 units purchased in March and that 37 of the 52 rental units were passenger vehicles, with the remaining 15 units being light commercial vehicles.

According to the report, new car sales are off to a great start this year, despite the challenges of much higher borrowing rates and continuous vehicle price increases. This, according to the report, is especially surprising given the difficulty consumers encounter in acquiring auto financing due to affordability issues.

"With many disruptive public holidays in May (resulting in fewer trading days), this is likely to soften vehicle sales in May. Additionally, the severe Rand weakness in May could see the South African Reserve Bank hike more to protect the currency, placing further pressures on affordability for the remainder of the year," it said.

In April 2023, 536 commercial vehicles were sold, down from 651 units in March 2023 and 544 in February 2023. Nonetheless, this represents a 22.1% increase year over year. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) were sold in lower numbers, falling to 473 units in April 2023 from 580 in March 2023. According to the report, LCVs grew 20.7% year-on-year but declined 18.4% month-on-month.

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