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SA sales of new energy vehicles jump 60%

The latest naamsa quarterly review is a catalogue of bad news, except for NEVs, which passed 1% of the new car market for the first time.

The latest naamsa quarterly review of business conditions for the South African motor vehicle manufacturing industry is a catalogue of bad news.

However, the numbers for New Energy Vehicle (NEV) are a bright spot:  sales by 19 industry brands increased by 59,9%, from 1,582 units in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 2,529 units in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Following a significant year-on-year increase of 421,7% from 896 units in 2021 to 4,674 units in 2022, NEV sales registered a further year-on-year increase of 64,6% to 7,693 units in 2023. NEV sales breached the 1% share of the new vehicle market for the first time in 2023 comprising 1,45% of total new vehicle sales, compared to 0,88% in 2022.

The following table reveals the diversity of drivetrain sales in the South African NEV landscape from 2019 through to 2023 Q4:

Total new vehicle sales during the fourth quarter 2023 recorded a decline of 5,4% compared to the corresponding quarter 2022 and a decline of 3,5% compared to the third quarter 2023, as this chart shows.

Fourth quarter 2023 aggregate industry employment as at 31 December 2023 totalled 33,379 reflecting a decline of 241 jobs compared to the 33,620 industry head count as at the end of September 2023.

Average industry capacity utilisation levels during the fourth quarter 2023 reflected the supply chain disruptions caused by port congestion and container backlogs on vehicle production while the ongoing global semi-conductor shortage impacted OEMs differently.

Aggregate capital expenditure by the major light vehicle manufacturers in 2023 amounted to R5,2-billion, linked to new generation model investments and associated model cycles.

Vehicle exports increased by a sound 24,9% from the fourth quarter 2022 to the fourth quarter 2023, contributing to the record 399,594 units exported in 2023.

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