Figures released by the Association of Automobile Importers in Lebanon (AIA) indicate that a total of 18.388 new passenger cars were sold in the first half of 2014, constituting an increase of 7.5% from the 17.110 cars sold in the same period last year. Korean cars accounted for 43.6% of total sales, followed by Japanese cars with a 32.6% share, European automobiles with 17.8%, American vehicles with 4.5%, and Chinese cars with 1.4%. The number of Japanese cars sold rose by 42.8% year-on-year, constituting the highest rise in new car sales: while the number of new Chinese cars sold declined by 13.5% from the same period of last year, followed by American vehicles with a 13.3% fall, European automobiles with a 5.3% decrease and Korean cars with a 2% drop in sales. Kia is the leading brand in the Lebanese market with 4,445 cars sold in the first half of 2014, followed by Hyundai with 3,576, Nissan with 2,402 cars sold, Toyota (2,110), Renault (638), Mitsubishi (521) and Chevrolet (423). In parallel, 1.167 new commercial vehicles were sold in the first half of 2014, constituting a drop of 2.5% from 1.197 vehicles sold in the same period of last year and a marginal increase of 0.6% from 1.160 vehicles sold in the first half of 2012.
The number of new vehicles sold by the country's top five distributors reached 14,471 in the first half of 2014 and accounted for 74% of new vehicles sold. NATCO sal sold 4.445 vehicles in the covered period, equivalent to 22.7% of the total, followed by Century Motor Co. sal with 3,665 (18.7%), Rasamny Younis Motor Co. sal with 2,633 (13.5%), Boustany United Machineries sal with 2,324 (11.9%). and Bassoul Heneine sal with 1.404 (7.2%). The AIA indicated that the combined number of registered new and imported used cars in the first half of 2014 remained nearly unchanged from the first half of 2013, but decreased by 8.2% from the same period of 2012. It said that the luxury car segment accounted for only 3.5% of total new registered cars. It reiterated that about 90% of new cars sold were small automobiles that cost on average about $11,000 each.
Lebanon This Week – Byblos Bank