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South Africa Vehicle Sales Fall for Second Month

South African vehicle sales fell for a second month in September and exports dropped as strikes hit carmakers’ operations.

Sales fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier to 54,281, the Pretoria-based National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa said in an e-mailed statement today. Vehicle exports dropped 75 percent to 6,622.

Workers at seven South African carmakers, including Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Ford Motor Co., went on strike in August and September, resulting in an estimated 20 billion rand ($2 billion) loss to manufacturers. This was followed by a stoppage by workers in the auto component and retail industries.

The labor disputes “had a devastating effect on the industry,” and may “negatively affect future export contracts being awarded to South African automotive manufacturers,” Naamsa said.

Passenger-car sales rose 0.8 percent in September from a year earlier to 39,792, while the sales of light commercial vehicles, such as pick-up trucks and minivans, dropped 9.6 percent to 12,014, the association said.

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