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Local Car Dealers Still Face Backlogs

By: Justicia Shipena

Local dealerships still have large backlogs of orders from customers as a result of a limited supply of new vehicles coming to Namibia, according to the financial experts at Simonis Storm in its vehicle sales report for November 2022.

This comes as vehicle sales broke a two consecutive month decline in November 2022, rising by 38.4% year on year last month.

Simonis Storms said they are cautiously positive on vehicle sales in 2023.

“On a monthly basis, vehicle sales increased by 4.9% month on month in November 2022, compared to -2.2% month-on-month in October 2022,” said the report.

In our previous report, Simonis Storms had indicated that new vehicle prices might start showing signs of moderation in early 2023 due to declining commodity prices.

“A trend we expect to persist into mid-2023,” Simonis Storm said.

The company said lower commodity for metal prices together with a stronger rand exchange rate might lead to a slowdown in new vehicle price hikes by local dealerships in 2023.

A total of 1 045 units were sold in November 2022, higher than the long-run average of 840 units.

Of these, medium and light commercial vehicles recorded the largest annual increases in units sold, while the extra-heavy commercial vehicle was the only category that recorded a decline in units sold.

“Passenger vehicle sales have surpassed sales levels of 2019 however, commercial vehicle sales have only reached 90.0% of 2019’s sales levels,” the report stated.

After having peaked with 2 150 units sold in March 2015, the report stated that vehicle sales have trended lower and now average 906 units per month year to dater from January to November.

With the government commencing its fiscal consolidation plans in 2015, Simonis Storm said this could explain a portion of the major decline in vehicle sales since then.

Meanwhile, global car production totaled 57 billion units in 2021, compared to 73 billion in 2017.

“While we do not have monthly data for 2022, various news articles and reports from listed car manufacturers indicate that car production across most key manufacturers have declined in recent months.”

Simonis Storm concluded that lower global car production would further constrain Namibia’s imports of motor vehicles which still remain below pre-pandemic levels.

Justicia Shipena

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