29 April 2013
South Africa’s emerging black middle class, as well as women buyers, have become increasingly important drivers of new car sales in the country, it was reported on Friday.
Standard Bank asset and vehicle finance found a 19 percent growth in its black customers between 2011 and last year, compared to seven percent for white customers, according to Business Report.
African, coloured and Indian borrowers were included among its black customers.
Sydney Soundy, the head of vehicle and asset finance at Standard Bank, said the number of female customers grew by 14 percent between 2011 and 2012, double the rate of growth of its male customers in the same period.
Soundy said the new car market was bucking the economic trend, with sales increasing by 4.1 percent to 163 092 units in the first three months of the year, compared to the corresponding period last year, despite tough economic conditions and the SA Reserve Bank forecasting gross domestic growth of 2.7 percent this year.
He said the prosperity within the new vehicle market was notable compared with other sectors, which were feeling the brunt of reduced consumer spending because of a number of factors, including cost pressures caused by high inflation and rising fuel prices.
“Consumers seem to be taking advantage of the low interest rate environment and clearly still have an appetite for secured credit,” he said.