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South African vehicle exports surge

South Africa built a record number of vehicles to meet the huge global demand for its automotive exports in 2023, led by Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan.

This is according to data released by the National Automobile Association which revealed that the country had built 399 594 vehicles last year, representing a 13,6% increase compared with 2022. This figure includes passenger cars and light commercial vehicles as well as medium and heavy commercial vehicles and buses.

Naamsa said four of seven manufacturers that built light vehicles locally had exported more than 50% of their total production to 109 countries in 2023.

The top ten export destinations for South African-built light motor vehicles, which includes passenger and light commercial vehicles highlighted in the data, as reported by News 24, included Germany (85 776 units) which comprised 21,5% of the market, displacing the United Kingdom (80 550 units) from its top spot, which slipped to 20,2% market share, after leading demand for the past nine years.

This was followed by  Japan (23 207 units); Italy (23 185 units); France (21 223 units); United States (19 590 units); Spain (14 899 units); Belgium (13 819 units); Poland (12 261 units);  Australia (11 996 units). In addition, a further 92 289 units were exported to other destinations across the globe.

Passenger vehicles manufactured locally for the period included the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan, Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota Corolla Quest, Toyota Fortuner, Volkswagen Polo and Volkswagen Polo Vivo and the Ford Everest, which is now imported from Thailand. 

The Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Navara, Nissan NP200, which has since been discontinued, the Toyota Hilux, Toyota Hi-Ace and Volkswagen Amarok are among the light commercial vehicles that were built locally.

The SuppliedKariega-built Polo hatchback saw Volkswagen lead export demand followed by Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, BMW and Ford in fifth place.

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