According to the Association of Lebanese Car Importers, the number of newly registered commercial and passenger cars during the first 8 months of 2015 expanded by a mere 1.72% year-on-year (y-o-y) up to August to reach 27,363 cars. This might have been on the back of decreasing oil prices and the depreciating Euro and Yen.
In details, the above improvement was attributed to the yearly 2.11% increase to 25,891 by August in newly registered passenger cars, which was partially offset by the 4.54% annual fall in newly registered commercial cars to 1,473. A possible explanation for the weakening demand for commercial cars is the hesitance of the commercial sector amid the presidential vacuum and political uncertainty in Lebanon.
Notably, there was a change in the market share of car exporting-countries, due to the average 13% and 15% y-o-y depreciation of both the Euro and the Japanese Yen against the US dollar to respective levels of Euro/Dollar 1.16545 and Dollar/Yen 120.605, by End-August. For instance, Japanese cars were the most demanded cars in Lebanon in the first 8months, with their share improving from 34.18% in 2014, to 39.55% in 2015. Meanwhile Korean cars lost their hold on the number one spot, going down from 40.69% to 32.95% in 2015. European cars maintained their third rank, however with a higher market share of 21.12%, compared to 18.82% in 2014.
Looking at the car brand breakdown, Kia held the largest share of 17.74% of the total, followed by 16.44% for Toyota. Furthermore, Hyundai and Nissan respectively grasped shares of 15.16% and 10.44%.
In terms of sales per importer, NATCO SAL (imports Korean manufactured Kia) maintained its holding as top performer, grasping a 17.74% share, while BUMC (imports Japanese made Toyota and Lexus) and Century Motor Co (imports Korean produced Hyundai) captured 16.57% and 15.15% of the market, respectively. It’s not surprising, that in this day and age, consumers have become more environmentally aware which illustrates why “green” investments are in the forefront of mainstream media.
Breakdown of Passenger and Commercial Cars by August