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Middle East: Combined Automobile Sales of 11 Countries Dropped Below 1 Million Units in 2020
Looking at the automobile market of 11 countries in the Middle East, sales in 2020 decreased 22.1% from the previous year to 948,000 units due to the impact of the new coronavirus. In the Middle East, sales peaked at 1.95 million units in 2014 but began to gradually decrease reaching 1.08 million units in 2018. The decline is attributed to sluggish crude oil prices which in turn weakened local economies. Sales picked up again in 2019, rising to 1.21 million units, an increase of 11.9% from the previous year. Growing demand was partly driven by the legal approval of women’s driving in Saudi Arabia, which is the largest automobile market in the Middle East.
Looking at sales by brand in 2020, Toyota led the market with 294,000 units, down 22.4% year-on-year. The distant second was Hyundai, down 37.7% to 114,000 units. The top two were followed by Nissan, down 20.2% to 101,000 units, Kia, down 17.5% to 77,000 units, and Mitsubishi, down 41.6% to 38,000 units, revealing that the top five positions were taken by Asian automakers.
Looking at market composition by country of origin, Japan increased 0.6 pp to 31.2%, South Korea dropped 1.1 pp to 20.6%, Thailand fell 0.7 pp to 12.7%, and the United States declined 0.3 pp to 11.0%. On the other hand, as the influx of Chinese cars is on the rise, China went up 4.0 pp to 7.2%.