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South Africa May 2020: Suzuki S-Presso breaks into Top 10, volumes down -68.1%

The Suzuki S-Presso is among the 10 most successful vehicles in South Africa.

11/06: Now with Top 275 All-models ranking.

After stalling -98.4% in April, the South African new car market recovers somewhat in May at -68.1% year-on-year to 12.932 units, pulling the year-to-date tally down -38.2% to 130.762. Passenger cars are off -65.4% to 9.019, light commercials are hit harder at -74.8% to 3.073 units for the month. while medium and heavy trucks drop -55.5% and -62.8% respectively to 304 and 536 units. Exports are also on the mend at -64.1% to 10.819 vs. just 901 in April. Car dealerships have been allowed to reopened to some degree in May, but the coronavirus pandemic has significantly worsened in the meantime, going from 5.647 total cases and 103 deaths as of April 30 to 32.683 and 683 as of May 31 and 48.285 and 998 as the time of writing, so don’t expect a car market surge over the next few months.

First Top 20 (and Top 15) finish for the Renault Triber in South Africa.

The Volkswagen Group (-56.6%) shoots up to #1 in May with 21.3% share vs. 18.3% so far in 2020, outselling YTD leader Toyota (-81.1%) at 14.3% vs. 21.6% this year. Hyundai (-50.3%) is up to #3 and 10.6% share, distancing Ford (-77.1%) at 6.3% vs. 9.4% and Mercedes (-46.9%) at 6.1% vs. 4.2%. Suzuki (-40.2%), Kia (-53.1%), the BMW Group (-55%) and Isuzu (-58.5%) all beat the market in the remainder of the Top 10, with only Renault (-66.2%) not being that lucky. Iveco (+2.8%) manages the only year-on-year gain in market in May, with Porsche (-9.2%), JMC (-27.1%), Lamborghini (-33.3%) and Bentley (-37.5%) also holding relatively well.

The Hyundai Venue breaks into the South African Top 20 for the first time.

The Toyota Hilux (-75%) remains the best-selling vehicle in the country despite a steeper fall than the market, followed like in March by the VW Polo (-51.9%) and Polo Vivo (-74.3%). The Isuzu D-Max (-51.3%) leaps up 3 spots on March to #4, overtaking the Ford Ranger (-72.7%) to rank #2 pickup truck. The Hyundai Grand i10 (-43%) also impresses and gains 8 ranks to #6 while the VW T-Cross does even better at +15 to #7 which is its new ranking record, eclipsing the #9 it hit last November. But the hero of the month is the Suzuki S-Presso: despite launching at the worst possible time (last March), it shoots up 38 spots on its March ranking to break into the Top 10 at #9 with 2.2% share. Notice also the Hyundai i20 (-37.6%) and Tucson (-43.9%) both posting strong holds to end the month at #10 and #11 respectively, the Renault Triber (#15) and Hyundai Venue (#17) both breaking into the Top 20 for the first time and the Kia Seltos lifting its ranking record to #18. Note the Grand i10, S-Presso, Triber, Venue and Seltos are all imported from India.

Previous month: South Africa April 2020: COVID-19 lockdown stalls market down -98.4%

One year ago: South Africa May 2019: Renault (+5.6%), Isuzu (+4.6%) resist in market down -5.8%

Full May 2020 Top 40 All-carmakers and Top 275 All-models below.

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