It’s the middle of the year, and one thing that has remained constant is the automotive market. New vehicles are launched almost monthly, and if they don’t sell well over a certain period, they are usually discontinued. The car sales game can sometimes be a vicious one.

Leading Automakers

At the moment, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Suzuki lead the line as South Africa’s best-selling automakers for passenger vehicles and overall sales, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). However, newcomers like Chery and Haval are also staking their claim in a bid to dethrone more established brands.

Exports and Sales Figures

Not to be forgotten are the exports. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen exported the most passenger vehicles with figures of 3 300, 7 567, and 7 855 units, respectively. Passenger vehicles make up the majority of sales, but light, medium, heavy vehicles, extra heavy vehicles, and buses also contribute to the grand total. For example, Ford may not have the best passenger figures, but their numbers are extremely healthy when you include the Ranger bakkie into the mix. On the other hand, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche only list total and not individual sales figures.

Top-Selling Models

For May 2023, Toyota had three models that sold more than 1 000 units – Corolla Cross (1 644), Starlet (1 218), and Fortuner (1 018). Volkswagen also had two dominant forces with the Polo (1 024) and Polo Vivo (1 876).

The Future of the Automotive Market

Rising inflation and a volatile economy are clearly not a problem for many customers because brand-new vehicles these days aren’t cheap. However, affordability and value for money remain at the forefront of many buyers’ minds when in the market for their next set of wheels. With newer vehicle launches scheduled for the remainder of this year, expect figures to change over the coming months.

These are the top ten best-selling automakers in South Africa based on Naamsa report data. We looked at the top-selling passenger vehicle from each of the ten top-ranked brands for May 2023 based on model range information provided. Do you think brands like Chery and Haval will pose a threat to established brands like Toyota, Suzuki, and VW in the future? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below:

MakeBest-selling modelUnits sold
VolkswagenPolo Vivo1,876
ToyotaCorolla Cross1,644
HyundaiGrand i10976
CheryTiggo 4 Pro745

By Shamiso Miracle

Shamiso Miracle completed her degree in journalism and media studies at the University of Zimbabwe before honing her skills at Savanna News. She then went on to work at iHarare News, becoming a voice for everyday SA citizens who wanted to share their stories. When she's not writing news that entertains and inspires ,Shamiso is an avid reader and a wellness bunny.

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