The Association of Car Importers in Lebanon (denoted as AIA) recently stated in its automotive report that “A dramatic drop of 37.20% in new cars registered in Lebanon during the first 9 months of 2021 in comparison with the same period of 2020 and by nearly 83.7% in comparison with the same period of 2019. This will lead to the closing down of a number of companies and to the licensing of a large number of their employees and workers”.
More generally, the market has been facing increasing challenges in the last two years mainly resulting from a severe reduction in purchasing power of customers as well as ceasing loans from the Lebanese banks. As a result, passenger cars dropped by 37.20% yearly to 3,231 by September 2021.
In details, during the month of September 2021, Japanese cars took the highest shares of 39.78%, Korean cars accounted for 26.4% of the total cars, and European Cars came third, measuring 25.49% of the total.
We might not expect a rebound in this sector in the near future, even if the economic situation gets better in the short term, since the Lebanese behavior has changed amid this severe financial crisis, as they have become more cautious about their spending habits including cars. That is in addition to the severe recurring shortages in gasoline and higher gasoline prices.
Growth of Registered Passengers Cars by September 2021
Source: AIA, MEC REGISTRATION REPORT, BLOMINVEST