SALES for new vehicles dropped 10,4% to 1 874 in the first seven months of the year, as people continue to prioritise resources amid low disposable income.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Over the same period last year, 2 092 vehicles were sold.
Corporates were the ones buying new cars and with the deteriorating economic environment, they have also turned to second-hand vehicles.
This comes as the rate of second-hand vehicle imports continues to rise in the market, which prompted Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda to call for a 150% import duty for second-hand vehicles.
In the report under review, Nissan owned vehicles experienced the highest increase in sales by 31,7% to 648 vehicles from a previous of 492 over the same period in 2016.
As such, the Nissan brand grew its market share to 34,6% in the period under review from 23,5% recorded in the same period last year.
Nissan Clover Leaf Motors managing director, Stanford Sibanda is on record saying the brand was moving, thanks to tenders from either corporates or the government and not individual sales.
Toyota took a dive by 39,4% in the period to 240 vehicles from 396 in the same period in 2016. Toyota Zimbabwe national sales and marketing manager Carl Varga did not respond to calls for comment.
Toyota’s market share also fell to 12,8% in the period under review from 18,9% recorded in the comparative period in 2016.
Isuzu sold 198 vehicles in the period, a bump of 41,4% compared to 140 sold over the same period in 2016. American brand, Chevrolet, had a dip in sales, selling 106 vehicles from a previous of 147 in same period in 2016.
Chinese brand GWM experienced 65,2% drop to 16 vehicles sold from 46 in 2016.
Of the luxury vehicles, Jaguar experienced a 450% jump in sales to 22 from four vehicles sold in the 2016 over the same period.
Land Rover, which is also part of the Jaguar Land Rover brand under Tata Motors, had a bump of 20% to 30 vehicles from the 25 sold in the same period last year.
Sales for other luxury vehicles such as Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Fiat/Alpha Romeo, Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge brands remained stagnant.
Motor Industry Association of Zimbabwe president, Luckson Gwara recently said Zimbabwe desperately needed its own second-hand market from brand new cars to compete with the imported second-hand vehicles.
“There is no standardised spec of new vehicles being imported and that is a major problem. So the proposal, if done properly, should go a long way in controlling what models come in whether or not they will have aftermarket service from dealers that are available,” he said.
MIAZ crafted the Motor Industry Development Policy, which seeks to address the mismatch of new vehicles versus second hand imported ones. The policy is currently before Cabinet.