All top ten brands post a dip in sales in February

Laws of supply and demand: Market data confirms used car price increase

Used car sales have been on the up and up in recent months. But February sales presented a more sobering picture.

Sales dipped by -8% month-on-month from a historically stronger and longer January, whilst year-on-year sales slipped by -1%, according to AutoTrader used car sales data.

Toyota continued to lead sales with 4,800 units ahead of Volkswagen (3,969) and Ford (3,037). The remainder of the top 10 sold brands remained the same in February with BMW taking fourth position and followed by Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Suzuki, Kia and Renault. 

But the only two brands in the top ten to escape a month-on-month drop in sales were BMW and Renault. With single-digit dips, Toyota, VW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Suzuki were the least impacted. The remaining experienced a double-digit decline with Hyundai and Kia posting the biggest dip with -15% and -14% month-on-month drop in sales respectively.

However, when we look at year-on-year sales performance, 5 out of the top 10 brands namely, Toyota, Volkswagen, Suzuki, KIA and Renault all experienced positive growth. Of the 5 brands, Suzuki had the largest growth (50%) versus 2023 sales. KIA and Renault, which saw increased popularity in the 2nd half of 2023 also experienced double-digit growth, 16% and 15%, respectively.  

There was minor shuffling in model sales in the month of February. Hatchback Kia Picanto (a big mover in January) fell out of the top ten making way for the Nissan NP200 and allowing the Toyota Fortuner, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Suzuki Swift and Ford EcoSport to each climb up the sold ladder. Single-cab bakkie Nissan NP200  posted sales growth of 6% in February, while the Mercedes-Benz C class and Ford EcoSport posted growth of 9% and 3% respectively.

As in previous months, the Ford Ranger generated the most model sales moving 1,564 units in February. Bakkie rival Toyota Hilux followed with 1,475 sales while the hatchback VW Polo sold 1,166 units ahead of the VW Polo Vivo (946 sales) and large SUV the Toyota Fortuner (684).

Models with an average age of six years and 74,887km average mileage sold for an average of R404,905, the price ticking up by 1.9% month-on-month.

“In February, the average age of sold models remained at 6 years old. Budget constraints have likely boosted interest in older, more affordable vehicles, especially those with a proven record of longevity. Older 8-year-old Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and 7-year-old Toyota Fortuner models continue to hold appeal,” says AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.

During the prior five months, the VW Polo 1.0 TSI consistently outsold its more affordable hatchback sibling, the VW Polo Vivo 1.4. But with sales of 824 units in February, the Vivo 1.4 overtook its costlier stablemate as the top-selling variant by some margin. Three bakkies, the Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6, Ford Ranger XL and the Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6 completed the top five variants sold.

In the coming months, a clearer picture of how affordability or consumer confidence is impacting used car sales is likely to unfold.

Top 10 Sold Models in February 2024

Ranked by most sold Model Sold Count  Price (R) Average  Mileage (km) Average Registration year Average 
1 Ford Ranger 1,564 474,930 78,230 5 years-old
2 Toyota Hilux 1,475 444,162 108,528 6 years-old
3 Volkswagen Polo 1,166 261,298 70,912 5 years-old
4 Volkswagen Polo Vivo 946 197,875 56,274 4 years-old
5 Toyota Fortuner 684 455,574 111,271 7 years-old
6 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 541 414,704 94,139 8 years-old
7 Suzuki Swift 488 184,369 39,352 3 years-old
8 BMW 3 Series 464 395,239 99,774 8 years-old
9 Ford EcoSport 423 230,962 67,853 5 years-old
10 Nissan NP200 404 171,596 82,257 5 years-old

Source: AutoTrader Used Car Sales Data: 1 February – 29 February 2024 

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest