Recently released market study: Bahrain Autos Report Q2 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu May 09 2013

We expect steady economic recovery, coupled with robust business activity in the non-oil sector, to help maintain steady growth in the Bahraini new vehicles market. After a nearly 9% y-o-y growth in new vehicle sales during 2013, we expect the market to post average growth of close to 5.4% y-o-y between 2014 and 2017, with annual sales reaching 56,300 by the end of the forecast period. In our revised data set, we expect the new vehicles market to have reached nearly 41,800 units in 2012, compared with 2011 sales of 29,500 units.

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Bahrain remains an important market for luxury and premium vehicle makers similar to its neighbouring markets. However, that has not deterred international carmakers with smaller cars in their portfolio from making entering into the market. Indian automaker Maruti Suzuki is looking to expand its presence in Bahrain, the company's Executive Director Sashank Srivastava said. The carmaker has initiated talks with its Bahrain dealers Mohammed Jalal & Sons on improving its presence and share in Bahrain.

Japan's Toyota Motor currently stand as the most dominant player in the market and cornered around 40% of the total new vehicle sales during 2012, with sales of 17,700 vehicles - up 6.3% compared with 2011. Toyota's closet rivals in the market, Nissan Motor and Hyundai Motor held respective market shares of 13% and 11.6% during the year.

A new and strong source of competition is from the growing presence of Chinese brands in the market. In December 2012, JAC Motors opened its first dealership in Bahrain. The company's new sales venue is located at Bin Saloom Plaza on Shaikh Salman Highway, Zinj. BYD Auto similarly operates in the market through Fakhro Motors, a unit of Abdulla Yousif Fakhro & Sons (AYFS), which opened a new retail outlet for BYD vehicles in Bahrain in 2011.

In the luxury vehicle segment, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes, maintain a sizeable presence. Lexus, stands far ahead of its European rivals with sales of 1,484 units in 2012, while BMW and Mercedes sold 568 and 504 vehicles respectively during the year. British luxury carmaker Jaguar, however, has unveiled an expansion plan aimed at promoting the brand as an affordable luxury car in Bahrain and intends to secure between 17% and 18% of the luxury car market from around 12% at present.

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