The automotive industry, both in South Africa and globally, is rapidly evolving. With a strong focus on decarbonisation and enhancing customer experiences, we are witnessing a monumental shift towards a more efficient, sustainable, and customer-centric future. This transformation is perfectly captured in our latest AutoTrader Car Industry Report (16th Edition) theme.

Insights and Shopper Behaviour

The insights from our report are invaluable, providing a comprehensive tool to gauge market dynamics and understand consumer shopping behaviour. These detailed insights are crucial for the industry’s adaptation and for it to thrive in the changing landscape.

Key Trends to Watch

  • The Rise of Online Car Buying

Since 2019, AutoTrader has seen a staggering 97% increase in visits, with an 11% rise in in-market car shoppers this year alone. The digital revolution has reshaped the car buying journey, with consumers demanding convenience, efficiency, and safety. Dealerships are innovating with virtual tours, online negotiations, and home delivery services to meet these new expectations.

  • Electrifying Growth in EVs

Electric vehicles (EVs) are surging in popularity, with local EV sales climbing by 132% last year. As battery technology advances and becomes more cost-effective, and with incentives for EV buyers, we anticipate a swift adoption rate. South African manufacturers also embrace green manufacturing practices, aligning with global decarbonisation efforts.

The used car market has grown significantly, with used cars outselling new by 6%. Economic challenges and the rising cost of new vehicles have made used cars a more attractive option. Our annual report includes used car sales data for the first time, highlighting that 343,737 used cars were sold in 2023 at an average price of R399,163.

  • Leasing and Subscription Models

Car leasing and subscription services are emerging as disruptive forces, offering alternatives to traditional purchasing and financing methods. These models are gaining traction and could redefine ownership in 2024.

  • Shared Mobility on the Rise

With urbanisation on the upswing, shared mobility services like ride-hailing and car-sharing are becoming increasingly popular. These services offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to car ownership, which may appeal to a growing population segment.

The Most Popular Models

In 2023, the Ford Ranger overtook the Hilux and Polo as the most sold new and used car. It will be interesting to see if the Ranger maintains its lead in 2024.

Looking Ahead

As we move into 2024, I am optimistic about the industry’s ability to continue #DrivingForward. I am eager to see further collaboration and efforts to bolster the economy, support the people of South Africa, and foster a future rich in mobility and sustainability.

The AutoTrader Annual Industry Report is not just a reflection of the past year but a roadmap for the journey ahead.