Small cars behind auto sales increase. Dagher Hayek group holds more than a quarter of market share

Sales of new cars showed a 2.5 percent increase during 2017 where 39,863 private and commercial vehicles were registered.

Sofidal Holding, the official name of the Dagher Hayek automobile businesses, controls an almost 27 percent share of the car market. Its NATCO Company, distributing KIA, has a 19.12 percent market share. Other companies within the group distribute Citroën, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and the Chinese brand BYD.

RYMCO, dealer of Nissan, GMC, Infiniti, Lada, and Datsun has the second largest market share. It increased its share by 1.78 percentage points to 14.3 percent.

Century Motor Company, distributing Hyundai, lost market share to reach 12.7 percent.

BUMC, distributor of Toyota and Lexus, has also witnessed a shrinking share and holds 12 percent.

Impex, importers of Cadillac and Chevrolet, expanded their share slightly to 5.8 percent. This increase correlates to the 12 percent growth in Chevrolet sales.

Tewtel Group improved its market position through its three brands, Ford, Land Rover, and Honda. Land Rover sales increased in 2017 by 63 percent compared to 2016.

Antoine Boukather, Chairman of the Association of Automobile Importers (AIA), said that compact cars dominate the market, specifically cars with prices below $15,000.

Almost half of the companies managed to increase their sales. Groups distributing different brands seem to compete better in the market, as they have a whole range of cars for different budgets. According to Nabil Bazerji, Managing Director at G.A. Bazerji & Sons, agents of Suzuki, this inclination moves along with the price, size, and quality formula that reflect the purchasing power of clients.

Joanna Dagher, Assistant Manager at Sofidal and Sidia, distributor of Peugeot, said that the group continuously adjusts their offers.

Jade Ayoub, Marketing Manager at RYMCO, said in the previous year his company was able to increase its sales across almost all of its brands. RYMCO's strategy is to cover all segments, and the recent Datsun models introduced in 2017 covered a gap and positively impacted overall performance.

Most luxury models did not perform well. Sales of BMWs showed a 32 percent decrease, and sales of Mercedes Benz dropped by eight percent.

Reported by Samer Rasbey