The love affair continues…
It seems that South Africa’s love affair with bakkies is ever-lasting, as a recent report from AutoTrader reveals. The report indicated that bakkies were the most searched-for body type on AutoTrader for the last quarter.
AutoTrader’s CEO, Georgie Mienie, says, “for many years now, bakkies have ruled the vehicle sales roost. This situation is not unique to South Africa. The Hilux is also the top-selling vehicle in Argentina, Australia, Sudan, Paraguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Argentina, for instance. The Ford Ranger, which is the top-selling vehicle in New Zealand, is also extremely popular in South Africa, following hot on the wheels of the Hilux.”
Mienie says he was, however, surprised to see the sports utility vehicle (SUV) occupy the second spot. “This is not because SUVs aren’t popular. Far from it! It has been incredible to see the growth in the SUV market – not only here in South Africa but also globally. Last year, this market continued to grow to 27.85 million global sales. That was an increase of 12.7% over 2016. This trend is especially apparent in South America, where SUV sales rose by 39.8%!”
Also read: Why more women should drive bakkies
“Here in South Africa, the SUV remains a popular body choice. The Toyota Fortuner, the ninth most popular new vehicle in South Africa in the first half of 2018, leads the pack. Yet another SUV from the Toyota stable, the RAV, also enjoys a strong following,” he comments.
However, Mienie expected hatchbacks (the third most popular body type) to occupy the second spot. “I say this because of the exceptional popularity of the Volkswagen Polo and Polo Vivo. These vehicles are as much a part of South African life as biltong and braaivleis; they have a loyal and passionate following,” he notes.
The Polo Vivo and Polo were the third and fourth most popular new cars in South Africa in 2017, a trend that is continuing this year. “We have also seen a lot of other hatchback launches this year – such as the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra and Suzuki Swift. I would have expected interest in these new vehicles to propel the hatchback into the number two spot,” Mienie adds.
The fourth most popular body type – the sedan – can be attributed to the ongoing popularity of the Toyota Corolla/Quest. “These sales are reported along with the Auris. However the Corolla and Quest are undoubtedly the top sellers, and deservedly claimed the number five spot in 2017 (this has changed slightly in 2018; they now enjoy the number seven spot),” reveals Mienie.
Full list of preferred body types:
*Data pertains to the following exact period: to 15 May 2018 to 15 August 2018