New car sales
drop 11.5 percent
New vehicle sales and registrations declined more than 11 percent in 2018, following changes in lender requirements.
Overall vehicle sales in 2018 dropped 11.5 percent from the preceding year, with 35,300 private and commercial vehicles registered.
New passenger vehicle registrations in 2018 declined 11.3 percent from the preceding year to reach 33,000. Some 2,289 commercial vehicles were registered in 2018, a decline of 13 percent during the same period.
The decline in sales is due to decisions by banks to require a down payment of 25 percent, and to increase the interest rate on car loans from 3.9 percent to 6.25 percent, according to Samir Homsi, Chairman of the Association of Automobile Importers (AIA).
Japanese cars accounted for 40 percent of the market share, followed by Korean cars at 28 percent, European cars at 20 percent, American cars at 9 percent, and Chinese cars at 3 percent.
Chinese car sales increased 93 percent to 962 cars. Japanese car sales decreased 2 percent to 13,500 cars. Korean car sales dropped 26 percent to 9,350. European car sales decreased 13 percent to 6,500 cars. American car sales shrank 4 percent reaching 2,850 cars.
Despite a 34 percent decrease in sales, KIA continued to top the list of new passenger car sales, with 5,000 units sold and a market share of 15 percent, followed by Hyundai (4,350 cars), and Toyota (4,155 cars).
Nissan’s sales increased 17 percent, reaching 4,000 cars, which boosted the brand’s market share by three percent.
AIA statistics about new cars sales during 2018 can be accessed on InfoPro’s Databank website.
Reported by Gisele Khalaf
Date Posted: Jan 21, 2019