Statistics Botswana figures indicate that first time registrations of vehicles reached 7,727 between April and June this year, which, excluding the pandemic period, represents the lowest quarterly figure in more than ten years.
First time vehicle registrations include brand new, second hand and rebuilt vehicles and are an indicator of trends in vehicle uptake in the local market.
The figure for the second quarter came off another low of 7,974 recorded in the first quarter, compared to an average of more than 10,000 per quarter in 2021.
In the last ten years to 2012, the only quarter with lower first registrations was the period between April and June in 2020 when a travel ban, lockdown and movement restrictions were imposed by government in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. During that period, just 5,281 first time registrations were recorded.
Statistics Botswana researchers did not qualify their statistics, but analysts suspect spiralling inflation locally and in the source markets for vehicles are behind the downtrend. High inflation would affect both the purchase prices of vehicles and the cost of operating them, analysts said.
The data agency’s figures however do show that the despite the dip, Toyota maintained its position as the country’s preferred vehicle model in the second quarter, while Mazda was the second most popular, having overtaken Honda from the third quarter of 2020 onwards.