Lebanon Businessnews News

Chinese car sales
double in 2018
Changan is the best-selling brand
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As overall automobile sales decreased 11.5 percent last year, Chinese car sales increased 93 percent in 2018, compared to 2017 according to the Association of Automobile Importers (AIA).

The surge in Chinese car sales catapulted their market share from 0.75 percent in 2017 to three percent in 2018, with 962 Chinese cars sold.

Chinese car sales increased four percent from 2015 till 2017.

“Chinese car brands are gaining market share in other countries also. It is a global trend,” said Samir Homsi, Chairman of AIA. Chinese cars are more affordable than others and the quality is improving, according to Homsi.

There are 14 Chinese car brands available in the local market, with Changan leading the way. It accounted for 66 percent of Chinese automobile market share locally. It sold 639 in 2018. The brand entered the Lebanese market in 2017, selling 53 cars that year.

Changan’s rise in Lebanon is partly attributed to its SUV offerings, which are available at various price points, said Rayan Rasamny, General Manager of Ras Motors Company, the distributer of Changan.

“Changan’s prices, warranty and competitive after-sales service attracted customers,” Rasamny said. Changan cars range in price from $10,000 to $39,900.

Geely sold 163 cars in the country in 2018, a 16 percent increase. Chery car sales increased eight percent, to 27.

Seeing the opportunities in Chinese automobiles, Sofidal Holding, the official name of the Dagher Hayek automobile businesses, has begun importing and selling two new Chinese brands, FAW and Soueast, in addition to existing Chinese brand BYD.

Chinese Commercial car sales also increased 85 percent to 333 cars in 2018 over 180 cars in 2017. Yutong sold 116 buses and Foton Trucks sold 130 trucks.

Japanese car sales dropped two percent to 13,500 cars. Korean car sales sank 26 percent to 9,350. European car sales shrank 13 percent to 6,500 cars. American car sales sank four percent reaching 2,850 cars.
Reported by Gisele Khalaf
Date Posted: Feb 14, 2019
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