23 July 2010

Lebanese Car Market

The country of Lebanon has been wracked by civil war, and was badly damaged in a war with Israel. You would think the car market would be limited saleswise, and the economy in a mess. All I can say is the people there must be resilient as cars sell quite well, even expensive ones.

Back in 2003, BMW was 8th most popular brand, Audi 12th, Mercedes 13th, Jaguar 17th, and Land Rover 18th. Nissan was the main seller back then with 17% share of the nearly 15,000 sales, Peugeot 2nd (14%) and Toyota 3rd (9%).

Forward to 2010 and for the first five months (sales 12,600), this is the scene:

1 Kia 18.4%, 2 Nissan 16.4%, 3 Hyundai 11.0%
4 Toyota 7.2% 5 Mitsubishi 4.5% 6 Chev 4.5%
7 Renault 3.7%, 8 Peugeot 3.2% 9 Mazda 3.2%

Kia has come from 3rd last year with a massive swing from 12.2% and Hyundai with a healthy gain too, albeit not as dramatic. Toyota is a big loser, with market share nearly halved, down an eye watering 6.5%.
The market as a whole for 2010 looks like it may fall well short of the 32,200 of 2009, but the fact that it is that robust speaks volumes for the character of the people.

The bottom line: The Koreans are taking over from the Japanese in Lebanon.


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