By Theodore Opara

NEW vehicle sales in Africa has begun to pickup after the coronavirus pandemic which hit the entire world in 2019. While North Africa records the highest sales, the sub Sahara Africa which is the region Nigeria belong to has the least sales when compared to the other regions.

The African Association of Motor Manufacturers, AAAM, has just released the new vehicle sales volumes as compiled by the Africa Automotive Data Network for Africa, AADN. The data reveals that sales have clearly started to recover from a disastrous pandemic hit 2020, where only 856 133 new units were sold in Africa, in comparison to sales of 1 131 249 in 2021.

Whilst this recovery is welcome the 2021 figure is still some twenty thousand units below that of the 2019 figure of 1 150 842. These numbers represent total industry sales volumes as reported by manufacturers. For sub Sahara African, the volumes exclude heavy commercial vehicles as these are not reported but estimated by AADN to be less than 5000 units per year.

Of the 1, 131 249 new vehicles sold in 2021, some 548 504 were sold in North Africa, and 499 087 within the Southern African Customs Union, with the balance of 83 658 new vehicles being sold in the rest of Sub Saharan Africa. Whilst new vehicle sales in all North African countries improved in 2021 over 2019, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisa managed to increase their new vehicle market in 2021 over 2020 despite the pandemic with only Algeria and other smaller North African countries showing a decline in new vehicle sales volumes.

New vehicle sales volumes in South Africa improved by 32 per cent in 2021 but were still down by seven per cent over 2019. In the rest of sub Sahara Africa sales increased by 15 per cent but went down by some 10 per cent over the 2019 volumes.

Commenting on the 2021 new vehicle sales results for Africa in 2021, David Coffey, CEO of AAAM said “The improved new vehicle sales volumes in 2021 are encouraging and shows that the markets are recovering, as life on the continent and many other places in the world is slowly normalising after the COVID pandemic. We believe that this positive trend will continue into 2022 with the reported quarter 1 sales for 2022 some nine per cent up over 2021 and growth will start to accelerate as more countries in Africa embrace the industrialisation and growth opportunity presented by the continental automotive strategy which could see new vehicle sales reaching 5 million units per year by 2035.”

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