Mahindra rides growth in S Africa as passenger vehicles market picks up

Representative image

Johannesburg: Mahindra South Africa has achieved growth in the South African passenger vehicle and pickup market despite an overall drop in sales because of the current economic downturn in the country.

Figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) show that Mahindra South Africa is one of the country’s fastest-growing passenger vehicle and pickup brands. Data from NAAMSA, which recently consolidated the sales for the first three quarters of 2019, show that Mahindra is on track to reach a new overall sales record that will easily exceed its target of 5,664 units for full year.

NAAMSA reported that the overall market for the year to end-September was down 3.5 per cent with the largest volume decline being in the passenger vehicle market, which has declined by 4.9 per cent or 13,468 vehicles when compared to the same period last year. Despite this, Mahindra has grown by 33.4 per cent to reach 5,584 sales upto end of September. Its parts division grew in line with new vehicle sales and are up by 36 per cent over the same period. Thanking the growing number of Mahindra customers for their support, CEO of Mahindra South Africa, Rajesh Gupta highlighted what he believed was responsible for the surge in sales.

“We believe that our mix of desirable SUVs and pick-ups, which offers fantastic value for money, our growing network of dealers and our history of solid customer service for the last decade-and-a-half have given us the platform from which we can grow in this tough market,” Gupta said. The 2019 sales success follows an aggressive marketing and expansion phase, which started in May 2018 with the official opening of the assembly facility for the Mahindra Pik Up range in Durban. This facility assembles the entire Pik Up range for South Africa and neighbouring countries.

“One of the biggest benefits of having our own assembly plant in South Africa is the fact that we can introduce special edition models and adapt certain Pik Up models to better suit our customer’s needs,” Gupta said. Mahindra recently also refreshed two of its most popular models, the entry-level KUV100 NXT and the large XUV500. Sales of the KUV100 NXT were further boosted this year, when the authoritative AA-Kinsey Report found that it was the most affordable model to service and repair in the compact crossover segment, beating its closest rival by close on R20 000 in the price of the parts and components that were considered as part of this affordability report.

The AA-Kinsey Report was followed by Mahindra’s first-ever Gold Award from the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA), recognising Mahindra’s hard work to support and grow its dealer network, handle complaints promptly and provide ample stock of all vehicles and parts. Mahindra SA is in its 15th year of operations in South Africa, with 65 dealers across all nine provinces of South Africa. The company has also expanded into other sub-Saharan countries, currently exporting vehicles to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland and Namibia, besides having a presence in Swaziland and Lesotho.