The UAE automotive market is expected to record a significant 23 per cent growth in 2012 against nine per cent registered in 2011, according to the latest industry estimates.
The rise in Total Industry Volume (TiV) to 300,402 units from 243,560 units sold in 2011 is attributed to the influx of tourists and rising consumer confidence, increase in liquidity, low interest rates and most importantly the UAE emerged as a safe haven during Arab Spring.
In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Michel Ayat, chief executive officer of Arabian Automobiles Company , or AAC , said: "The UAE is an important launch pad for leading brands as more and more brands launch their products in GCC and globally simultaneously."
The rise in car volume sales in the UAE is also due to rapid growth in trade and logistics sector, which expanded manifold in this year and likely to maintain the same trend next year. The markets are reported to see the levels of 2008 of 347,904 units next year. The global trend shows growth in TiV to almost 79.70 million units in 2012 against 75.69 million units in 2011.
According to figures released by AAC at its roundtable with the Ayat, it is indicated that performance has varied across mature markets and emerging markets' growth rates have dropped to single-digit, however, GCC TiV growth is estimated to rise by more than 20 per cent to 1.45 million units in 2012. The Gulf region is expected to record a 24 per cent growth at 767,481 units. The estimates for the region's market for first-eight months of the year indicate a growth of 28 per cent to 511,654 units against 398,249 units in the corresponding period of 2011.
Currently the Middle East is the second largest market for Nissan after the US and the global total Altima volume is pegged at 560,000 units per year out of which the US volume is estimated around 300,000 units annually. The UAE TiV during January- August 2012 is estimated at 200,268 units and the D/E segment volume passenger car is estimated at 17,142 units.
"The segment will be number one in next three years. The D/E sub-segment is nine per cent of the UAE TiV. The current Altima is in a strong second position and leader in the retail business with AAC ' Altima witnessing 33 per cent growth with 19 per cent market share in this segment.