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Page added on September 21, 2012
New car sales in the United Arab Emirates have grown around 20% in the first eight months of this year and growth is expected to continue due to a resilient economy underpinned by high oil prices.
Atsuo Kosaka, managing director of Nissan Middle East, said the car market in the second largest Arab economy is improving.
He added: “The UAE new car market is increasing very much in comparison with last year’s sales, and not only for Nissan.” Dubai-based Nissan Middle East supports the carmaker’s sales in over 20 countries across the region, from Libya to Azerbaijan.
The UAE does not release quarterly gross domestic product data so car sales are used by economists as one indicator of growth. However, car sales data is not available on an aggregate basis, making tracking the industry difficult.
The UAE is Nissan’s largest market in the region and the company has a market share of around 15% – some 37,000 vehicles a year.
Kosaka said he expects growth in the UAE to continue. “It’s definitely coming from the favourable oil price situation and economic fundamentals are very stable right now.”
He added that elsewhere in the Middle East, new car sales in Lebanon have so far held in line with last year’s levels despite the civil war in neighbouring Syria, where the market has almost disappeared.
His primary focus, Kosaka said, is to increase Nissan’s small market share in Saudi Arabia, the biggest Gulf Arab car market with 606,000 annual vehicle sales.