South African Vehicle Sales Gain for Second Month in May

(Corrects percentage increase in fourth paragraph.)

South African vehicle sales (NAAMTSYY) gained for a second month in May, boosted by increased purchases of cars and light commercial vehicles, an industry group said.

Sales rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier to 53,997, the Pretoria-based National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa said in an e-mailed statement today. Growth slowed from 19.5 percent in April.

South Africa’s central bank has kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged at its lowest level in more than 30 years since July last year, to help support growth in Africa’s largest economy. That’s helped buoy vehicle sales, which have grown on an annual basis every month so far this year besides March.

Passenger-car sales rose 6.3 percent in May from a year earlier to 37,019, while sales of light commercial vehicles, such as pick-up trucks and minivans, climbed 11 percent to 14,301, the industry association said. Vehicle exports advanced 16.5 percent to 26,325, it said.

Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) sold the most vehicles in the local market last month with 10,370, followed by Volkswagen AG (VOW) with 9,644.

RGT Smart (RGT) compiles the data for the industry association.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at

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