In late 2016, Egypt has been suffering from severe foreign currency shortages, which greatly affected automobile sector due to the difference between the official exchange rates and the parallel market rates, consequently the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to free float the Egyptian pound in November. This came as part of the economic reform programme adopted by the authorities. The currency flotation led to further increases in car prices, which took its toll on the automobile sector.
Egypt’s total automobile market review
The total automobile sales volume year to date (YTD) until August 2017 registered at a total of 83,887 units, marking a 39% drop against the 137,594 units sold in the same period in 2016. Buses suffered the largest drop with a 43% decrease in sales volume, from 15,246 units in 2016 to reach 8,757 units in 2017, while passenger car sales declined by 38% to register at 59,928 in 2017 down from a total of 97,401 in the same period in 2016. Finally, lorries’ sales decreased from 24,947 in 2016 to register at only 15,202 in 2017, marking a 39% decrease YTD, according to the 2017 Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) report in August.
Moreover, Egypt’s total sales of vehicles in August 2017 registered 14,102 units, which marks a 20% drop from 17,641 units sold in August 2016. The highest decrease was witnessed in the buses segments, which went from 1,868 in August 2016 to 1,384 during the same period in 2016—a decrease of 25.9%, while passenger cars witnessed a 20% decrease to register at 10,311 in August 2017 vs. 12,947 in August 2016. The lowest drop was in the lorry segment, which declined by 14.8% from 2,826 to 2,407.
On the other hand, August 2017 sales are higher than the 2017 YTD average and than the July 2017 average by 34.49%. However, August 2017 sales are still lower than 2016’s YTD average by 18.01%, and very significantly below the August 2015 sales volume of 25,053 by 56.28%.
Total automobile sales breakdown
In terms of passenger car origins, the cars are divided into two main categories: it is either a complete built-up (CBU), which means the vehicle is completely built out of the country, or it is a complete knock down (CKD), which are the locally assembled automobiles. CKD sales registered in 2017 are lower than those of 2016 by 33% YTD, while CBU YTD 2017 sales witnessed a huge drop of 45.2% compared to YTD 2016.
Moreover, European passenger cars sales in YTD 2017 decreased by 40.6% to register at 7,996 from 13,467 in YTD 2016, while South Korean cars witnessed a decline of 57.9% to 14,971 from 35,588 in 2017. US cars declined by 39.7%, and Chinese and Japanese by 14.6%, and 27.2% respectively.
Chevrolet achieved the highest sales in August 2017 with 3,301 units (compared to 3,561 in August 2016), while Hyundai came in second place with 2,304 units sold (3,843 in 2016). Nissan secured the third spot with 1,730 units sold in 2017 (1,767 in 2016), while Toyota and Chery-Ghabbour came in the fourth and fifth spot with 1,153 and 989 respectively (1,348 and 1,196 in 2016).
On the other hand, passenger cars market share depending on the engine displacement 1.5L-1.6L engine cars maintained their dominance in YTD 2017 with 52% of the total volume compared to 50% in the same period in 2016. Cars with 1.3L-1.5L engines came in second place (21%) in YTD 2017 from 23% in 2016, and SUVs with 2.0 L engines or less registered at 19% in 2017 versus 20% in 2016, while the remaining was distributed between SUV>2.0L (5%), 1.0L~1.3L(1%), 1.0L(2%) in YTD 2017.
Furthermore, the buses market was dominated by Kei Van transport vehicles (a category of small Japanese micro-vans), which accounted for 45% of total market share in YTD 2017—3,970 units versus 7,835 units in YTD 2016. Microbuses made up around 29% of the market share in 2017 compared to 30% in the same period last year. However, tourism microbuses were the only type of vehicles that witnessed an increase in YTD 2017 by 57.8% compared to YTD 2016.
The report indicates that sales in August 2017 are higher than the 2017 YTD average and than the sales of July 2017. They are, however, lower than the 2016 YTD average, 2016 average, and August 2016 sales.
CKD buses sales decreased by 50.4% in volume against 2016 volume, while CBU witnessed a decrease of 30.5% in YTD 2017 versus the same period in 2016. Suzuki came as the top brand in terms of sales, with 2,454 units sold in YTD 2017, accounting for 28% of the market, followed by Toyota with 1,592 units sold during the same period, making up 18.2% of the market share. Chevrolet came in third place, with 14.5% of the market share, where the company sold 1,271 units in YTD 2017.
On the other hand, pick-up trucks took control over the lorry segment, registering 70% of the market share in YTD 2017 with a total unit volume of 10,718. Light-medium lorries accounted for 18% of the market in 2017, with 2,747 units—versus 17% in 2016. Light lorries, heavy lorries, mini pick-up, and medium lorries registered 4%, 4%, 3%, and 1% respectively in YTD 2017.
The report concludes that the 39.1% drop in sales volume in the lorry segment in YTD 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 was due to pick-up truck sales decreasing by 35.5%, light lorry sales decreasing by 54%, and light-medium lorry sales decreasing by 37% in 2017 versus 2016.
According to the report, although sales in August 2017 are higher than the 2017 YTD average, they remain lower than the 2016 YTD average, 2016 average, August 2016 sales, and July 2017 sales.
Chevrolet was the top choice for lorry buyers, with 83.7% in YTD 2017, marking an increase of 66.1% from 2016. This was followed by Nissan, which declined from 10.1% in 2016 to 4.1% in YTD 2017, and Mercedes with 3.7% from 3.6% in the same period in 2016.