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Automobile

Automobile is an essential part of the lifestyle of middle east citizens and hence forms an important component of GCC’s annual imports. The region enjoys higher ownership of automobiles primarily attributable to per capita income above the world average.

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Overview

Automobile is an essential part of the lifestyle of middle east citizens and hence forms an important component of GCC’s annual imports. The region enjoys higher ownership of automobiles primarily attributable to per capita income above the world average.

Middle East imports, often fluctuates with oil prices and so is the case with automobile imports too. But what is noteworthy is the sharp decline in imports of automobiles by value and more particularly by number of vehicles during 2016 and 2017, with no signs of reversal in 2018. Automobile imports by value shrunk (-)16% in 2016, while imports by number shrunk (-)24.4% in 2016. Though the decline in imports by value recovered (+0.4%) in 2017 (and grew by 18% in 2018), imports by number continued to further decline by (-)16.9% in 2017 and (-)8.9% in 2018 respectively. In 2018 the automobiles or passenger car net imports accounted for USD 22 billion or about 4.2 % of total imports of goods of USD 522 billion by the GCC countries (they accounted for 5.5% of imports by value in 2014). What could have been the reasons for the slump is a matter of discussion and analysis for all stakeholders?

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