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Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Still counting cars

Passenger car sales grew 43% y-o-y in July, with some 17.8k vehicles sold during the month, up from c. 12.5k in July 2020, according to figures from industry association Automotive Information Council (AMIC). On a monthly basis, sales decreased from 19.5k passenger vehicles sold in June 2021 — an almost 9% m-o-m drop in the number of cars sold.

THE CAVEAT- The annual growth figures aren’t quite as impressive as they seem due to a low base effect. This time last year, auto sales had hit the skids as the government’s lockdown measures caused a sharp drop in consumer demand. AMIC figures reflect data contributed by member distributors, who include most (but not all) industry participants.

Total auto sales — including busses and trucks — also increased c. 29% y-o-y to 23.5k vehicles in July. The lower sales volume month on month — 26.2k units were sold in June — reflects a full week of holidays in July thanks to Eid Al Adha.

Bus and truck sales saw mixed results: Truck sales rose 10.4% y-o-y to over 3.7k in July, from 3.4k in the same month last year — down from 5k trucks sold in June as corporations took a full week off in July. Bus sales were down both y-o-y (-23%) and m-o-m (-12%) with nearly 1.9k units sold.

Sales fell as much as 26% at the height of the covid-19 lockdown in April of last year as dealerships were shuttered and consumers deferred purchases. Despite that, AMIC figures for FY2020 showed that, overall, sales rose last year — even as the pandemic forced a partial lockdown on the economy.

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