Only a few mid-size hatchbacks are still available in South Africa, and what was once a thriving segment seems to be on its way. Let’s take a closer look at the figures for April 2022 …
Remember the days when the C-segment hatchback was the standard option for family transportation? Well, a look at the latest sales figures in South Africa shows how far this once bustling segment has fallen.
Yes, the enthusiasm for crossovers has defeated not only the traditional segment of sedans, and the mid-size hatchback (we are talking about cars with external dimensions similar to the Volkswagen Golf) also suffers from the consequences. In fact, there is a complete list of hatches from this segment that have been grazed in the local – and in some cases global – market over the past few years due to declining sales.
The Ford Focus and Opel Astra are two of the most notable relatively recent examples of discontinued C-segment hatchbacks (despite the new generation versions offered in European markets), although the roster is also traditionally less popular. models such as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Kia Cerato, Renault Mégane and Peugeot 308, as well as premium players such as the Lexus CT200h and Volvo V40.
So what options for the average hatchback remain – at least for now – in the South African market? Well, there are only a few, and no one is selling particularly well. In fact, the best player in the country in April 2022 was the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, registered only 40 units (remember what numbers Auris achieved?). Of course, the slack is well and really picked up made on the Prospecton Corolla Cross, which proved to be extremely popular in SA. Next was the Mazda3 (34 units), ahead of the Audi A3 Sportback (25 units).
Interestingly, the other three models are performance options in the respective ranges, with derivative cooks no longer offered locally: Hyundai i30 N (24 units), Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI (17 units) and Honda Civic Type R (1 unit, although technically this single registration could have been obtained thanks to the Civic sedan lineup, as Honda Motor Southern Africa reports a combined figure for the two body types). Of course, since halo models, hot hatches tend not to be volume factors, so these rather meager figures are to be expected (and have probably been further reduced due to global supply constraints).
Also, as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have made it a habit not to report monthly sales figures for individual models, it is unclear how many examples of 1st Series hatchbacks and A-Class hatchbacks were sold locally in April. However, we are willing to bet that the numbers were modest at best …