Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/24/2014 -- The outlook for Algeria's auto industry is mixed as we enter 2014. On the positive side, the start of production at Renault's new Oued Tielat factory in Oran province should prove transformative for the development of a local production and automotive supply chain. Moreover, Mercedes-Benz's own production plans involve the ongoing construction of three major industrial projects in Rouiba (Algiers), Ain Bouchekif (Tiaret) and Oued Hamimine (Constantine)'. These will produce commercial vehicles and engines.
However, the sales outlook for the country has deteriorated rapidly. For 2013, in the absence of any official data having yet been released by the local Association des Concessionaires Automobiles d'Algerie (ACAA), BMI has utilised data released in January 2014 by the local French-language Motors Magazine. These data cover just passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and do not include any heavy commercial vehicles, trailers or buses. However, using these data enable BMI to break down the headline sales figure into passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, which provides greater clarity on the recent evolution of the Algerian new vehicle sales market than was previously the case.
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So, using these figures, we see that 2013 was a broadly stable year for Algerian new vehicle sales, with the final figure of 422,564 vehicles sold representing a 0.6% decline on 2012's figure of 425,226 units sold, according to Motors Magazine. Breaking down the headline figure, passenger cars accounted for 352,105 units of the total, with commercial vehicles making up the remaining 70,459 units sold in Algeria over 2013. The largely stable picture provided by the end-year figure masked a somewhat calamitous drop in sales over much of 2013, with only the strong Q113 and December 2013 performance making up for the losses in the intervening period.
Looking forward, it appears as though 2014 will prove a more challenging year for local car importers and dealerships, with the local Liberte newspaper quoting the President of the ACAA, Abderrezzak Lachachi, as stating that several dealerships will close this year.
One reason for the short-term pessimism is the fact that 2012, in particular, was a much stronger year than most observers had predicted. During that year, increases to public sector wages saw a sharp increase in demand for new vehicles, which was then not repeated after the end of Q113. As an example, Lachachi cites November 2012, which saw monthly sales increase by 80% year-on-year (y-o-y) and then November 2013, which saw monthly sales slump by 38% y-o-y.
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