News: Around 30,000 staff members working for some of the world's largest automakers, including Toyota and BMW, in South Africa, will go on strike for a fourth day on August 22 2013, Bloomberg reports. A breakthrough may be possible as employers have reopened talks over workers' wages with union leaders. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa says it will continue negotiations with the automakers on August 23 2013. The walkout is costing the South African automotive industry up to US$68.4mn per day. The union wants 14% annual wage increases for workers, in addition to improved medical benefits and shift flexibility.
BMI View: Despite the weak domestic outlook, South Africa registered a 7.5% y-o-y increase in new vehicle sales to 53,997 units in May 2013, up 3,750 units from the 50,247 sold in May last year, according to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). Outperforming the segment in May were sales of LCVs, bakkies and minibuses, which grew at 11.1% y-o-y, or by 1,425 units, bringing the year-to-date aggregate to 14,031. In May 2013, sales of heavy trucks and buses recorded an increase of 8.6% y-o-y to 136 units. Sales of medium commercial vehicles faced a decline of 0.3%.