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South Africa January 2015: Corolla third, Ford Ecosport cracks Top10

* See the Top 34 manufacturers and Top 225 All-models by clicking on the title *

New vehicle sales start in negative territory in South Africa at -1% in January to 52,306 units. Passenger cars are down 4% but Light Commercial Vehicles up 6%. It would appear that the decline in sales could be attributed for al are part to a 10% drop in activity in the rental market. “Rental companies seem to be shifting their replacement cycle to the second half of the year – as we saw in the last six months of 2014,” said Rudolf Mahoney, head of research at WesBank. It’s worth noting that the South African new vehicle market is skewed heavily towards private sales, these accounting for 82% of the overall market in January vs. 11% for rental vehicle companies, 4% to corporate fleets and 3% to government. In comparison, private sales represent just 36% of the market in Germany and 55% in France.

First Top 10 ranking in South Africa for the Ford Ecosport.

The VW Polo Vivo, #2 over the Full Year 2014, is the best-selling nameplate in the country for the 4th time in the past 5 months thanks to 3,002 sales and 5.7% share, relegating the Toyota Hilux far below in 2nd place at 2,605 units and 5%. Boosted by the new model now in cruising mode, the Toyota Corolla/Auris climbs onto the podium with 2,464 sales and 4.7% share, knocking the Ford Ranger down to #4 and the VW Polo down to #5, while its stablemate the Toyota Etios also lodges a strong month in 6th place with 3.5% share. The main event in the Top 10 is the arrival for the first time of the Ford Ecosport, up 3 spots on December to land at an excellent 9th place with 1,218 sales and 2.3%, now counting South Africa as one of its successful markets along with Brazil, Argentina and India and unlike Europe.

The Datsun GO is up to a best-ever #18 in January.

Another model breaking its South African ranking record this month is the Datsun GO, up 4 ranks on December to a best-ever #18 with 604 sales and 1.2% share. These are relieving results for Nissan after a very wobbly career for the GO in India so far. Other notable improvements further down the ranking include the BMW 2 Series up 90 spots on last month to #43 now that the Active Tourer variant has hit dealerships and the BMW X4 up 12 to #75. Finally, we welcome the Suzuki Celerio at #100 with 53 units sold for its first month in market.

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