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The most desirable cars in SA

The Beat The Price New Car Demand Index for June 2019 shows some strong growth in demand for certain brands - particularly Ford and Mazda.

The twenty most requested models* in June 2019 were:

  1. Volkswagen Polo
  2. Volkswagen Polo Vivo
  3. Hyundai Grand i10
  4. Hyundai i20
  5. Kia Picanto
  6. Toyota Etios
  7. Renault Kwid
  8. Mazda CX-3
  9. Kia Rio
  10. Volkswagen Golf
  11. Ford Figo
  12. Ford Ranger
  13. Haval H2
  14. Toyota Yaris
  15. Toyota Avanza
  16. Toyota Corolla Quest
  17. Toyota Hilux
  18. Datsun Go
  19. Ford Fiesta
  20. Hyundai Accent

Beat the Price offers a unique insight into the preferences of South African car buyers because it captures their initial preferences, rather than the vehicle they eventually settle for. If we compare the list above to the NAAMSA figures, we see some marked differences.

Ford forging forward

Demand for Ford’s vehicles has been growing steadily this year, and June is no exception. Its share of the New Car Demand Index has grown steadily from around 5% in February to over 8% in June. This is almost certainly the result of successful marketing activities, with the brand making a big push into the bakkie market with the launch of the new Ranger XLS. We can clearly see the positive effects, with the Ranger making its first appearance in our Top 20 - beating out both the Toyota Hilux and the Hyundai Tucson.

Mazda makes an appearance

Mazda has struggled to make headway this year, with no appearances in our top 20 in the first five months of the year. The brand has broken its losing streak with an appearance by the Mazda CX-3, which shot up to our 8th most requested vehicle. This is clearly related to the uptick in advertising for the CX-3, which is Mazda’s answer to the popularity of other crossovers like the Renault Kwid and the Kia Sportage. With a new version of the CX-3 due to arrive in early 2020, it appears dealers are intent on ensuring they clear stock of the existing model before then.

Preferences vs sales

Although the NAAMSA sales figures are an invaluable resource for tracking the market, they are less useful for forecasting and tracking consumer demand for brands and models. This is because:

  • The sales figures include sales to large organisations (such as rental agencies and corporate fleets), which significantly distort the trends and are largely unaffected by marketing.
  • Sales do not always reflect initial preferences. Many consumers end up “settling” for a different model or even a different brand because of problems with availability or financing.
  • Car sales tend to lag marketing efforts significantly because of the longer purchase cycle for consumer vehicles. Beat The Price’s stats reflect underlying preferences and future car buying intentions.

Why no Ferraris?

As a free online service, you might expect that Beat The Price is flooded with requests for high-end luxury vehicles. Fortunately, this is not the case. Our customers tend to be serious, practical and focussed on good value for money. In other words, ordinary working South Africans, many of them from the emerging middle class.

If you’d like more details on this list, or Beat The Price in general, you can contact Marius, our COO, on (083) 701-1614‬

* NOTES:
This list combines model variants by engine capacity.
The data underlying this list represents a statistically significant sample of national car sales (at 95% confidence)
The standard NAAMSA stats include trucks and other heavier vehicles. Be sure to click the “Passenger” tab when looking at their monthly Flash reports to get a more accurate view of the consumer car market.

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