DESPITE a year that was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) — which comprises the Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles brands as well as Audi — ended 2020 as the passenger car market leader in South Africa.
“2020 was a challenging year not just for our brands but for the motoring industry as a whole and to come out of 2020 still holding onto our leadership of the passenger car market, is an incredible feat,” said Mike Glendinning, VWSA Sales and Marketing Director.
According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), 380,449 vehicles were sold in South Africa last year, a 29.1% decline when compared to 2019. “VWSA was severely affected by the pandemic which ground vehicle sales to a halt in April. Our 2020 sales are down by 28.9% year-on-year when compared to 2019,” said Glendinning.
“Despite the difficulties we faced in 2020, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand posted a record market share last year. The 21.6% market share achieved by the brand in 2020 is 1.2% higher than the one in 2019 and is the highest market share in the history of the brand as well as the highest market share of all Volkswagen markets across the world.”
Glendinning said the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand recorded total sales of 53,319 units last year. With 19,750 units sold in 2020, the locally manufactured Polo Vivo is not only Volkswagen’s top-selling vehicle, but it is also the South Africa’s best-selling passenger car.
The compact SUV, the T-Cross, is now Volkswagen’s best-selling imported vehicle with 5,693 units sold in 2020. With less than two years since being launched in South Africa, the T-Cross is now sitting in second position in the A0 SUV segment in the local market.
In a year that was particularly challenging for the premium market, the Audi brand increased its market share by 0.3% when compared to 2019 and recorded full-year sales of 5,819 units last year. The Audi Q2 was the best-selling model range for the premium brand last year posting sales of 1,131 units.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles — which is responsible for vehicle derivatives like the Amarok, Caddy, Kombi, Caravelle, Panel Van and the Crafter — posted total sales of 4,344 and ended the year with a 3.7% market share in 2020. The Caddy was the brand’s best-selling derivative with 1,730 units sold in 2020.
“In what was been an unprecedented year, VWSA’s performance in 2020 is thanks to our dedicated dealer network who pushed for every sale. I’d also like to thank our loyal Audi and Volkswagen customers who continue to ensure that VWSA is South Africa’s most loved passenger brand year after year,” Glendinning said, adding that the company had exciting plans for 2021.
Volkswagen South Africa will be turning 70 in August. The first Volkswagen rolled off the production line in Uitenhage in 1951.
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand will start off the year with the launch of the highly anticipated hot hatch, the Golf 8 GTI. A Tiguan facelift as well as the Golf 8 R will also be launched in the local market this year.
2021 will also be an action-packed year for the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand as they kick off the year with sales of the the Amarok 190kW bakkie, from the first quarter of this year. New model introductions include the T6.1 Kombi, Crafter Auto, as well as the fifth generation of the best-selling Caddy model range.
Besides the introduction of a totally refreshed and extensive R and RS performance range (new RS4, RS5, RS6, RS7, RSQ8, RSQ3, R8 are all due in 2021), key model introductions for this year for the Audi brand in South Africa include the all-new Audi A3 model range. The Audi Q5 and Q2 model ranges are also due for a facelift in 2021.