Vehicle market in the GCC
The total number of vehicles sold in the GCC countries has been significantly increasing over the years. During 2018, Toyota was the leading vehicle manufacturer with the highest market share in Saudi Arabia. The wholesale, retail trade, and repair of vehicles is a large market in Saudi Arabia with operating revenues that exceeded 39 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. Automobile manufacturing facilities in the GCC are not very prominent, but small steps are being taken to develop that area. Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries are removing subsidies on fuels along with other goods and services as a transition to meet market prices. This caused an increase in fuel prices and the full imposition of market prices is expected in the next few years.
Electric vehicles in the GCC
Electric Vehicles (EVs) have recently started to penetrate the GCC market. They are characterized by their lower fuel and maintenance costs as compared to Internal Combustion (IC) vehicles. The majority of the public in the GCC have never owned a hybrid or a full electric vehicle which highlights significant untapped market potential. Among the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have the highest awareness level concerning EVs. As the manufacturing costs of EVs fall, along with the spotlight on the importance of reducing carbon emissions as part of the climate change control goal, EVs are expected to gain more popularity worldwide. However, EVs are priced significantly higher than what the public are willing to pay and this is hampering the adoption rate in the GCC.