As a firm specializing in market research and data analysis through surveys, feasibility studies, polls, among others, we hope to bring valuable insights through today’s article as we focus on the importance of imported vehicles in the economy.
Statistics Botswana recently published a report titled ‘Transport Infrastructure Q1 2022’ which presents an assessment of the quantum of vehicles and their registration status.
The report states that 7,974 motor vehicles were registered for the first time during 2022 Q1. Used vehicles constituted 77.6 percent of the new registrants, whilst brand-news accounted for 22.3 percent and rebuilt vehicles 0.1 percent. At least 77.0 percent of the brand-new vehicles were imported from South Africa and vans were the highest at 74.8 percent of the total. Japanese vehicles constituted 67.1 percent of vehicle first registrations and 99.5 percent of these were second-hand. Passenger cars constituted 82.5 percent of the used vehicles recorded. The importation pattern is uneven within the country, most importers reside in towns and Toyota is the preferred brand.
Increased business opportunities
The statistics stated above show that Batswana imports a lot of vehicles from either Japan (second-hand) or South Africa (new). Multiplication of transport infrastructure is good for the economy as this boosts economic activity. Most of these imports are personal mobility vehicles (PMVs) which are used daily for business and local travel. Small to medium businesses especially those who offer delivery or courier services use these vehicles for their day-to-day operations since they are fuel-saving and relatively cheaper to maintain. They are also very commonly used by small taxi/cab operators for the same reasons thus improving the mobility of people from one place to the next.
The increased imports of PMVs also come with other business opportunities such as car repair services, spare parts sales, petroleum products, and more. Consequently, employment opportunities are created for Batswana. Finally, more revenue is guaranteed to the fiscus in the form of levies (customs duty), and vehicle insurance.
Research is key
It is clear that the increased importation of cars into Botswana boosts its economic activities, which is a positive development for the country. However, there may also be cons to this phenomenon that need to be further investigated. With higher importation of PMVs, it may also mean that the public transport business for fare-paying passengers is slowly dying away as the masses are opting to transport themselves using private vehicles. In areas like Gaborone North for example, besides the bad gravel roads, most residents have their personal cars such that it is a mammoth task for a kombi to fill up at the bus rank. Fewer trips in the kombi business mean less profits. It is also important to note that those who are already in the public transport business especially for short trips between home and the workplace or school, may need to innovate to remain relevant.
Lastly, this information is important for the government to be aware of the challenges that come with more vehicles on the road and plan accordingly some of which are traffic congestion, and increased road accidents among others. Another concern is that it may stifle the development of the local car manufacturing industry in the country as second-hand vehicles tend to be cheaper than brand-new cars.
We hope that this article was insightful and that it demonstrated to some extent the importance of market research or data in business decision-making. For more insights into your own market niche, we are here to make the data make sense for you.
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