BMI Projects Passenger Car Sales to Rise by 4.0% y-o-y in 2015

Given that Lebanese new passenger car sales inched up by 8.0% year-on-year over the first 10 months of 2014, to stand at 32,084 cars by October, Business Monitor International (BMI) expects passenger car sales to reach 38,817 units by end of 2014. Hence, sales growth is forecasted to be 7.5% by end of 2014, compared to a 1.8% by end of 2013. However, total vehicle imports, new and used, through the Port of Beirut went down by 17.8% y-o-y to reach 64,748 units. This could indicate that demand growth for vehicles might drop in 2015. Therefore, BMI projects passenger car sales growth to be lower than 2014, increasing by a yearly 4.0% in 2015, where it would reach 40,369 cars by December 2015. Nevertheless, due to the tough economic conditions challenging Lebanon, it is expected that small cars, priced below $15,000, would continue to take around 90% of new car sales. Moreover, the lack of organized public transport and the strong competition between brands are also causes that drive Lebanese consumers to opt smaller cars. Therefore, luxury cars, priced above $100,000, only account for about 3.5% of the total market.

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