Toyota is adapting to the times with its new Corolla Cross, which is likely to become a strong seller.
Toyota is adapting to the times with its new Corolla Cross, which is likely to become a strong seller.

SUVs surging, sedans sinking: Here’s how SA buying patterns have changed in 10 years

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Dec 1, 2021

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Johannesburg - SUVs and crossovers are an increasingly common sight on the roads, both in South Africa and abroad, while traditional body styles like four-door sedans are becoming increasingly rare.

But to what extent have buying patterns actually changed in the last decade? New research released by Lightstone Auto sheds some light on how the market is evolving and it includes some interesting insights.

For instance, SUVs and crossovers accounted for just 14% of the total vehicle market in 2011, but in the year to October 2021, these high-riders had a total market share of 31%.

This means SUVs and crossovers are now the biggest market segment, knocking hatchbacks down to second place. The latter body style fell from just under 35% in 2011 to around 27% in 2021 YTD.

However, the four-door sedan is the biggest loser, its market share having dropped from 20% in 2011 to 6% in 2021. In fact the decline of the sedan dates back even further, with this body style having accounted for 30% of the market as recently as 2003, says Lightstone.

Single cab bakkies have also seen a decline in sales, possibly due to the discontinuation of popular half-tonne models such as the Chevrolet Utility and Ford Bantam, while double cabs have become more popular, their market share increasing from 6% in 2011 to around 14% this year.

Lightstone also released graphs showing these trends across the provinces and major cities and here there are no major surprises, except for the fact that hatchbacks still outsell crossovers in the eThekwini/Durban metro although, if you’ll excuse the pun, sales of these two segments are about to cross over, with hatches in decline and crossovers on the rise.

SUVs and crossovers are likely to enjoy further growth in the coming years as more and more new entrants join the market. SUV ownership has also become more affordable in recent times, with numerous new entrants being launched this year, including the Suzuki Vitara Brezza and its Toyota Urban Cruiser twin, as well as the Nissan Magnite, Renault Kiger, Kia Sonet and Cherry Tiggo 4 Pro.

Toyota is also likely to find success with its new Corolla Cross, launched in November this year as a C-Segment SUV at B-Segment pricing.

IOL Motoring

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