Traders ‘cautiously optimistic’ as SA used car market shows improvement

While South Africa’s new vehicle market has taken a battering since COVID-19-related restrictions were first imposed in late March, the country’s larger used car market has faced its own challenges — but is now showing signs of revival.

This emerged from the insightful and latest used car Rate of Sale (ROS) measure used by the industry to gauge the period of time a vehicle stands on a lot before being sold. 

VW Polo Vivo the fastest mover off sales floor

The latest figures, based on June sales, placed the Volkswagen Polo Vivo in first position as the fastest mover in that month.

With financial factors having traditionally played a strong role in private consumers’ decision to purchase a new or used vehicle, the overall automotive retail industry has historically see-sawed in favour of new or used vehicles in tandem with economic conditions at the time.

The surprise pandemic and the accompanying Level 5 lockdown, has however impacted particularly heavily on many used car dealerships, which have been compelled to face additional challenges, such as stock management and protection, under the lockdown.

‘Cautious optimism’ for SA used car market

But there is now light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for the formal second-hand car market, with AutoTrader – the country’s largest digital automotive marketplace – on Wednesday expressing “cautious optimism” around the South African used car market going forward.

Highlighting a number of positive trends in the used car sector, AutoTrader chief executive George Mienie said there was now “reason for cautious optimism”.

“Prices have begun to increase – albeit slightly – while cars are also selling faster than experienced earlier this year. Both of these factors bode well for the used car market,” he noted.

Mienie was making direct reference to AutoTrader’s Used Car Rate of Sale (ROS) indicator, which has just been released for the period ending June 2020.

As a dominant participant in the…

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