New car sales drop seven percent. Japanese cars witness the hardest decrease - Lebanon

New car sales
drop seven percent
Japanese cars witness the hardest decrease
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Total car sales including commercial and passengers dropped seven percent in 2016 to 38,874 vehicles, according to the Automobile Importers Association (AIA).

The number of registered passenger vehicles declined eight percent to reach 36,326 cars, almost the same number as in 2013. It is the first yearly drop since 2009. In 2015, sales reached record levels, after recording a four percent increase.

The number of commercial cars grew 11 percent to 2,548.

In terms of sales per importer, Natco acquired the largest market share of registered cars (18 percent), followed by Century Motor Co. (14 percent), BUMC (13 percent) and Rasamny Younes Motor with (12 percent).

The largest drop was in Japanese cars which decreased to 12,445 (minus 11 percent), followed by a seven percent drop in European cars to 7,557. The market for new American cars increased 15 percent to 2,603, compared to 2015. Chinese car sales increased four percent.

Samir Homsi, Chairman of IMPEX, distributors of Chevrolet and Cadillac, said: “The increase in American cars was due to special promotions and price cuts we provided last year.”

Homsi said that car sales are focused on small cars priced below $14,000.

Japanese cars accounted for 37 percent of the market share, followed by Korean at 34 percent, European 21 percent, American seven percent, and Chinese 0.75 percent.

The Korean KIA brand continued to top the list of new car sales, with 7,081 units sold and a market share of 19.5 percent, followed by the Korean Hyundai at 15 percent or 5,306 cars, and the Japanese Toyota at 13 percent or 4,660 cars.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jan 16, 2017