New vehicle sales in South Africa hit a record high in South Africa in 2006 with a 15.6% rise year-on-year, figures released Jan. 9 showed. According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), a total of 714,340 cars and other commercial vehicles were sold in 2006, compared with 617,406 the previous year.
The association was also bullish about the prospects for the coming 12 months, predicting that 768,000 vehicles would be sold over the course of 2007.
Naamsa president Johan van Zyl said that 2006 "had been an outstanding record year in terms of SA new vehicles sales and domestic production."
"However, 2007 will be more challenging with the domestic new car market likely to move sideways or register modest growth, at best, and with growth in new commercial vehicles sales likely to outperform growth in the new car sector," he added.
In the first decade after the end of the apartheid regime in 1994, the South African economy enjoyed modest annual growth rates of about 3%, but in 2006 growth was 5%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007