The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has soared to the top of the vehicle pops, beating the BMW 3 Series which falls in to fourth spot. While this is undoubtedly interesting, the second and third most wanted vehicles – the Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Polo – provide even more food for thought.
These ratings, based on 2018 search data from AutoTrader, the country’s most-visited motoring marketplace, have become recognised as the most accurate reflection of consumer interest and buying preferences within the South African automotive industry.
“Accordingly, we analyse search statistics every year. Official sales statistics can be confusing, since some brands do not report their sales figures,” explains George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO.
And, while South African motorists are known to be brand loyal, the figures pertaining to 2018 show some interesting shifts. In 2017, the 3 Series reigned supreme in first position (which, in 2018, dropped to position number four). Second was the C-Class (which soared to first position in 2018) and third was the Volkswagen Golf (which, in 2018, dropped to position number six).
“On the other hand, 2018 was an excellent year for the Toyota Hilux, which raced from fourth spot in 2017 to second spot in 2018. It was a great year for the Volkswagen Polo too, which catapulted from sixth spot in 2017 to third spot in 2018,” Mienie reveals.
But why the changes? The success of the C-Class is due to a number of factors. Firstly, the C-Class is Mercedes-Benz's top-selling model – so it is very popular, not just here but all over the world. Secondly, Mercedes-Benz introduced a revised C-Class in mid-2018, and this always bolsters sales and interest.
The high rating of the Hilux also comes as no surprise. The year kicked off with the Hilux competing in the Dakar, which attracted a huge amount of attention (as is the case right now). The Hilux is also the country’s top-selling vehicle. It even outsells popular cars such as the Polo and Polo Vivo. In fact, one in five vehicles sold in South Africa is either a Hilux or a Fortuner (which is based on the Hilux). For many it’s a South African icon.
The same can be said of the Polo, which attracted a considerable following in 2018. “Like the Hilux, it is a South African hallmark. South Africans love this car!” comments Mienie.
The launch of the New Polo at the beginning of 2018 is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the vehicle hurtled from sixth spot in 2017 to third spot in 2018. The New Polo has been heralded by the motoring media and members of the public alike, because it offers a cutting-edge exterior design, superb interior, brilliant drivetrain and exceptional ride quality. Even its price-tag is appealing. “We can understand the public’s passion for this exceptional car,” he concludes.
|Most searched for cars on AutoTrader in 2018|