South Africa’s auto industry is set for an exciting period as six new vehicles prepare to launch in 2023 and 2024, signaling a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the sector.
- South Africa’s auto industry is witnessing growth and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, with six new vehicles set to launch in 2023 and 2024. Naamsa forecasts a 6.3% growth in domestic sales and an 8.3% increase in export sales for 2023.
- Despite facing challenges such as load shedding and an inflationary environment, which negatively impact vehicle production and consumer buying decisions, the automotive industry remains optimistic about growth in the coming years.
- The six upcoming vehicle launches include the Toyota GR Corolla, Chery Omada C5, Lexus RZ 450e, BMW M3 Wagon, Hyundai Grand i10, and Nissan X-Trail. These new models showcase the industry’s innovation and resilience, offering South African consumers a diverse range of options.
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) reported that the country witnessed the sale of 45,352 new vehicles in February 2023, marking a 2.5% year-on-year increase in comparison to February 2022. This growth comes despite the local vehicle sales experiencing a decline in exports by 11.5%. The automotive industry, which contributes 4.3% to South Africa’s GDP, has faced concerns due to this decline.
Naamsa also highlighted that load shedding has negatively affected vehicle production, and the ongoing inflationary environment is influencing the buying decisions of South African motorists. Despite these challenges, Naamsa remains optimistic about the industry’s growth in 2023.
The association forecasts a 6.3% growth in domestic sales and an 8.3% increase in export sales for 2023, citing a slow but steady momentum in the new vehicle market. Among the vehicles slated for launch in South Africa are:
- Toyota GR Corolla: Toyota’s high-performance hatchback, the GR Corolla, is set to hit South African roads within the next four months. The car will be sold exclusively through GR-focused dealerships in limited quantities. Pricing and detailed specifications will be revealed closer to the launch date.
- Chery Omada C5: The Chery Omada, a luxury-focused sub-brand, will make its African debut in South Africa in mid-April. With 30 dealers across the country ready to offer sales and support services, the Omada C5 is poised to make a significant impact. However, pricing for the new sub-brand remains unconfirmed.
- Lexus RZ 450e: Lexus is set to launch its first built-from-the-ground-up battery-electric vehicle (BEV), the RZ 450e, in South Africa in 2024. Further details on the launch date and pricing will be announced as the release date approaches.
- BMW M3 Wagon: South Africa will receive a limited number of BMW’s first M3 Touring models in 2024. Local pricing and the exact number of vehicles allocated for South Africa are yet to be disclosed. Top Auto suggests that these limited-edition BMWs will likely be offered in small batches to a select group of clients.
- New Hyundai Grand i10: Hyundai South Africa has confirmed that the updated Grand i10 will launch in the country in 2023, but an exact date remains undisclosed. The South African model will be sourced from India, and TopAuto predicts that it will be similar to the recently launched Grand i10 Nio in India rather than the European model set for a 2024 release.
- New Nissan X-Trail: Nissan will introduce the fourth generation of its popular X-Trail in April 2023. While the global market offers the X-Trail with various powertrain options, the South African model will initially be available only as a petrol model. However, Nissan has indicated that hybrid technologies could be introduced in the country at a later stage.
The upcoming launch of these vehicles in South Africa marks an exciting period of growth and innovation in the automotive industry, offering consumers a diverse range of options and demonstrating the sector’s resilience in the face of challenges.