The passenger car market continued to bleed in March 2015 as total vehicle sales dipped 3% to 35548 compared to the same time last year. Notwithstanding that, the market for bakkies grew by a handsome 5.5% compared to last March. There have been a lot of factors that have shifted South Africans towards more and more bakkies, and an increase in the SUV market compared to other body types. These factors range from the improved handling of bakkies, affordability, competition among the car makers, and greater comfort at in entry level SUVs, which where once inaccessible to many. The sales numbers for the Ford EcoSport (5 among passenger cars, 12 overall) is a great example of how that segment of the market has grown. That being said, here where the 20 best selling cars and bakkies in South Africa in March 2015.

10 Best Car Buys

  1. Volkswagen Polo Vivo – 2837
  2. Volkswagen Polo – 1903
  3. Toyota Corolla, Auris; Quest – 1847
  4. Toyota Etios – 1560
  5. Ford EcoSport – 1036
  6. Ford Figo – 929
  7. BMW 3 Series – 901
  8. Toyota Fortuner – 831
  9. Ford Fiesta – 634
  10. Volkswagen Golf 7 – 527

The Ford EcoSport is becoming a regular in our top 10 cars, which is something that's taken many by surprise because its relatively new than the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Duke is the small SUV market. Nonetheless, with incentives from both Ford dealers and other car dealers, there is continued reason for buyers to opt for the EcoSport. The 10 best car buys remain unchanged from the previous month of February.

Top 10 Best Bakkies

  1. Toyota Hilux – 3625
  2. Ford Ranger – 3107
  3. Nissan NP200 – 1956
  4. Isuzu KB – 1672
  5. Chevrolet Utility – 1584
  6. Nissan NP300 Hardbody – 78
  7. Toyota Land Cruiser PU – 419
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 383
  9. Mazda BT-50 – 164
  10. Mahindra Scorpio PU – 177

Toyota's Hilux remains South Africa's most favourite automobile, and by a huge margin. A new generation Hilux bakkie is set to make its way onto showrooms in 2016, while its closest competitor, the Ford Ranger, is rolling out a bigger, cooler Ranger later this year. This could be the ultimate game changer, and be exactly what Ford needs to finally conquer Toyota's might among bakkie buyers. Both Ranger and Hilux sales increased in the month, and overall in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 2014. Another interesting feature about the past month's sales was the lead taken by the Mahindra Scorpio Pik-Up, over the Nissan Navara. This is not the first time that the India bakkie has outsold the Navara, and as its flagship, it may certainly not be the last time, given Nissan pouring more and more resources into the NP200 and NP300 bakkies.

The above numbers are not truly reflective of South African car buyers' purchasing habits because manufacturers like Hyundai/Kia, and recently Mercedes-Benz, don't report individual model sales. And as we know, one in every second car in either an i10, 20, 30 or A Class and C Class in our roads.

Here are February's best selling cars and bakkies.

Author: Pierre Theron