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‘New energy vehicles’ get moving in SA

Naamsa’s quarterly review of business conditions for the motor vehicle manufacturing industry show a massive 431% year-on-year jump in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Naamsa’s quarterly review of business conditions for the South African motor vehicle manufacturing industry reveal a creaking supply chain for new vehicle sales during the fourth quarter of 2022. However, new energy vehicles (NEV), as electric and hybrid cars are categorised in South Africa, have seen stellar growth.

The data shows that new vehicle sales increased by 16% compared to the corresponding quarter 2021 but only by 0,1% compared to the previous quarter. This, said Naamsa, highlighted above-expectations performance in 2022, but at the same time the impact of supply chain disruptions and economic pressures on the new vehicle market.

Meanwhile, NEV sales by 15 industry brands increased year-on-year by a massive 431,7% in 2022. From the third quarter to the fourth quarter 2022, sales jumped by 66% from 953 units to 1,583 units.

NEVs still have a long way to go before they make a serious impact on the industry, though.

Fourth quarter 2022 industry employment reflected a decline of 823 jobs, to reach 33,477 positions at the end December 2022. However, they 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.

Domestic production and exports also provided good news.

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.

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