Chinese and Indian car models slowly eating into Namibian market share

Cash-strapped Namibians seeking to reduce their debt burdens are slowly turning to Asian vehicle models, with data showing an increasing uptake of the models, with an average 15 units per month sold.

“Recent new entrants from particularly Chinese brands seem to be decent value for money, given their competitive warranties and standard equipment levels. Given that the disposable incomes of Namibian consumers have been under pressure for a number of years now, it makes sense that there has been some shift to these relatively less expensive alternatives,” Danie van Wyk, Head: Research at IJG told The Brief.

“As a percentage of total new vehicle sales, there has been a definite increase in Chinese and Indian vehicle sales since 2016, with the growth more apparent from 2020. At roughly 6% of new vehicle sales in April, they remain relatively small players in the Namibian market, although their market share is steadily increasing.”

Van Wyk said the Japanese, German and South Korean brands, collectively still dominate local sales, having made up 88.6% of new passenger vehicle sales in April.

“They will definitely be cognisant of these brands and their offerings from a competitive perspective. The Namibian market continues to be dominated by Japanese, German and South Korean brands which collectively made up 88.6% of new passenger vehicle sales in April,” he said.

Simonis Storm Economist, Theo Klein also noted the increase in Asian car models in Namibia.

“When excluding Toyota from the market, our data show that Chinese and Indian brands have increased their market share above that of traditional European and American brands since September 2021 in Namibia. However, when we include the Toyota brand together with European and American brands, we see that the market share of Chinese and Indian brands are far below that of the former group,” he said.

Klein, however, maintained that Japanese, German and South Korean brands continue to dominate the local car market.

“Haval only recorded sales as of January 2019 according to our data. Since then, they have sold 15 units per month on average, whereas Tata sells 5 units on average per month. However, this is far below the monthly average of 386 for Toyota, 137 for Volkswagen and 72 for Ford. Comparing Haval and Tata to other Asian brands, we see that their average monthly sales also fall far below the average monthly sales of 83 for Nissan, 41 for Isuzu and 27 for KIA,” he said.

“It could be that Namibian customers see value in certain Asian brands due to affordability and advancements in accessories, engine capabilities and modern designs. However, their market share growth over recent years do not appear to be significant threats at this stage when analyzing the data. Toyota is still unrivalled in the local automotive market in terms of market share.”

In the 10 years since 2003 according to India’s vehicle data, the number of vehicles shipped to African destinations from India has exploded, with a growth of over 1 000%, of which growth of 160% has been achieved since 2008 alone. During this period exports of passenger vehicles from India to Africa increased by a staggering 2 400%, as previously many of the vehicles coming to Africa from India were light commercials.


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Last modified on Monday, 01 August 2022 12:29

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