On the Fast Lane: UAE's Automobile Sector

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The UAE automobile sector remains in the fast lane, as the country ranked top globally with more than 25 per cent sales growth in 2012 compared to single-digit growth in major markets. Following the buoyant growth in 2012, industry specialists in the UAE expect another positive year ahead.

The credit goes to the country's leadership for creating a safe environment that brings economic stability, mainly contributed by the tourism, trade and logistics sectors.

It is estimated that the UAE's total industry volume will touch 305,000 vehicles in 2012 compared to 243,000 sold in 2011.

Major auto sector players in the country told Khaleej Times that 2012 recorded strong growth — from 20 per cent to more than 30 per cent. Majority of them expect a significant double-digit growth for this year as well.

Growth in 2012

Top executives of auto industry say the sector also witnessed huge investment in terms of new showrooms and service centres across the country.

Axel Dreyer, general manager, Galadari Automobiles Company, said: "2012 was another successful year for us. There is a very positive development in terms of market growth and general demand, which is supporting us to achieve sustainable growth.”

Mazda2 and Mazda3 are in high demand, especially among the growing younger generation, Dreyer said, adding: "Our flagship CX-9 has become one of the well-established 7-seater SUVs in the UAE due to the excellent value for money and modern design.”

Mark Kass, regional managing director, Al-Futtaim Honda, said: "2012 has been a year of buoyant growth in new car units with sales up 22 per cent year-on-year.”

Michel Ayat, chief executive officer of Arabian Automobiles, said that 2012 saw the automotive market rise by 25 per cent, which led to one of the highest growth rates in the past five years. This was driven mainly by government initiatives, which supported the economy as well as the growing population in the country, Ayat added.

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