CAIRO: Car sales in Egypt have been rising year on year as more people manage to purchase cars at affordable prices.
“Definitely, there has been a very big increase in car sales since the reduction of customs on 1.6 liter cars at the end of 2004, Nesreen El Barkouky, senior specialist at Chrysler told The Daily Star Egypt.
Car sales saw a 40 percent increase between 2005 and 2006 in total car sales and the trend shows no signs of abating.
Year to date sales, January and February, have seen an increase of 39 percent in 2007 over 2006. In the 1.6 liter segment specifically, the increase was 36 percent.
El Barkouky concurs that it is the 1.6 liter segment that has shown the highest sales.
“Especially in the 1.6 liter or less segment an increase has happened. After the customs reduction, everybody started importing and selling these cars, she said, “due to the customs reduction, the prices of these cars are reasonable.
El Barkouky noted that the price difference between the 1.6 liter segment the 1.8 liter is considerable.
Additionally, “the market has increased in all segments, El Barkouky said, “in the larger segments, SUVs. The market has increased as a whole.
With the increase in car sales, a further strain on Egypt’s roadways seems more likely. El Barkouky concurs that this is an issue and believes that plans must be made to absorb the increased cars on the road, rather than the customary reactionary measures.
“You can’t expand roads in Cairo, so you need to build more bridges. They’re looking into ways to do that, especially in the Remaya square in Haram, which suffers from heavy traffic congestion, she said.
El Barkouky added however that road building “will always be a consequence of what’s happening now. They’re not planning for the future increase in cars.
It is expected that car sales will continue to rise in the future, especially in the more affordable price ranges.
“I think this is applicable in the 1.6 segment, El Barkouky said, “They see this segment as an opportunity to introduce more varied models also, so there will be an increase in the introduction of more models in this segment.
She added that “in the other segments this will not happen.
Total car sales in Egypt for 2006 were 133, 591 as opposed to 95, 565 in 2005.
Year to date sales (for January and February) was 23, 921 for 2007; 17,159 for 2006 and 11, 751 in 2005.
The number of these cars in the 1.6 liter or less segment was 22, 102 in 2007; 16, 234 for 2006 and 11,084 in 2005.