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Meanwhile, the automotive industry quietly gets on with it

Meanwhile, the automotive industry quietly gets on with it

While everyone else is crying about a potential double dip, or collapsed real estate, or a bad jobs market, the car business has been quietly powering ahead.

March 9, 2011 3:27 by

In Feb the company saw 9,907 cars roll off lots in the region to post that meaty growth, mainly driven by individual retail sales, which were up 42 percent. “February represents another month of double-digit sales growth,” said John Stadwick, President and Managing Director of GM Middle East. “Outstanding sales driven by Chevrolet cars – the Aveo, Cruze and Malibu prove that our award-winning line up of vehicles is growing in preference among customers in the region.” Apparently Iraq saw the biggest boost, with sales doubling.

With all this chaos in the region, we can’t predict if that pattern will be maintained, but here in the UAE demand is expected to remain strong, according to a recent report. Emirates 24-7 reported that, “The UAE automotive market is expected to experience strong growth as the demand for automobiles and related products increases. Auto sales are expected to expand significantly registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about eight per cent between 2010 to 2014, while total re-exports are expected to increase at a CAGR of five per cent in the same period. This increase in auto sales is accompanied by increase in car ownership as a percentage of the population, which is expected to increase to a high of about 57 per cent by 2014.” We can see the cartoon style dollar signs appearing in dealer eyeballs now…

But before you go investing in dealerships, or you dealership owners go popping the corks from bottles of fizzy grape juice, allow Kipp to bring you back to earth (as is our way). The news has indeed been good, particularly here in the UAE, and sales are apparently up. But Kipp understands there is a big, nasty grey cloud on the horizon: The industry fears that new bank practices could see people asked for a 20 percent deposit in order to receive a car loan. You don’t need us to tell you that such a move could well drive another knife into the recently re-animated automotive corpse.

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