New car sales almost flat. Small and Korean cars still on top - Lebanon

New car sales almost flat
Small and Korean cars still on top
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The number of new cars sold in 2013 totaled 36,109 units, representing a 1.8 year-on-year growth, and Korean brands leading sales figures with a slight increase over last year to 16,227 units sold, according to the Association of Automobile Importers (AIA).
Kia maintained its lead as the top selling brand for 2013 (9,310 units), followed by Hyundai (6,901 units), Nissan (4,974 units), Toyota (2,189 units), and Chevrolet (1,184 units). Sales of Chinese cars increased by 63 percent to almost 761, in 2013. European brands sold 10,048 cars, a five percent annual growth.

“This slight increase in new car sales is due to aggressive promotional campaigns done by importers” said Samir Homsi, head of the AIA and chairman of Impex. Homsi said that 90 percent of the registered new cars are small and priced low, around $11,000.

According to Rachid Rasamny, Sales and Marketing Manager at Century Motor Co., exclusive dealers of Hyundai, the high demand for smaller cars is on the rise due to three main factors: “The first factor is the gasoline price and the improving fuel efficiency of new cars, then there is the traffic congestion, and finally the price purchasing power of the consumer, which has been dropping in the last few years.”

Rasamny noticed that car buyers are becoming more mature and rational in their choices: “More consumers are choosing to buy new cars supported by a company warranty instead of spending their money on used cars, which may break down in a couple of months.” According to Jad Ayoub, Marketing Manager at RYMCO, exclusive dealers of Nissan, GMC, and Infinity, people are choosing cars that provide them with their basic transportation needs, in today’s critical situation.

Small cars such as the Nissan Micra and Sunny represent more than 50% of Nissan’s sales. Among the significant changes, Mitsubishi witnessed a 200 percent increase, Land Rover more than 100 percent, Infinity 90 percent, Volvo 80 percent, Ford 70 percent, Subaru 66 percent.

Reported by Nader Houella
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Date Posted: Jan 16, 2014