In 2021, the sale of new cars in Saudi Arabia was led by Toyota with a share of 28.4 percent of the total sales, followed by Hyundai at 16.6 percent. The best-selling car model during that year was Toyota Camry for the first time since 2018.
Automotive sector trends in GCC
The vehicle market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has been expanding over the years. Saudi Arabia is the largest new automotive sales and auto parts market in the Middle East, accounting for an estimated 40 percent of all vehicles sold in the region. Saudi Arabia imports more than a million vehicles including passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and light trucks. It remains a very important market for Japanese and Korean automakers. However, the GCC region has been witnessing a shift in the preference of buyers from new cars to used cars. This was a consequence of the decreasing consumer confidence following the COVID-19 pandemic that took place during 2020, and the increased financial cautiousness. It has led to a chance for the growth of the aftermarket of cars. During 2018, before the pandemic, the value of automotive aftermarket sales in the region was expected to grow to almost 40 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
Saudi Arabia car market during COVID-19
The Saudi Arabian car market had started 2020 with positive growth in car sales, with forecasts of about 1.5 million passenger car sales during the year. This came after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Alsaud signed a decree in 2018 allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia, with expectations of more than two thousand female drivers in 2020. This quickly changed following the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the early months of 2020. In March, the car market was nearly flat after the government-imposed closure restrictions on all non-essential businesses. In April, the sales dropped by more than 70 percent, causing the industry great losses. Later, the government announced a car value-added tax (VAT) that will be introduced at the beginning of July, which caused a sudden jump in car sales of more than 100 percent in June. With the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, exceeding 345 thousand cases by August, car sales plunged every month due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Market share of new car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by select brand
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BestSellingCars. (February 23, 2022). Market share of new car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by select brand [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved February 04, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/673095/saudi-arabia-car-sales-market-share-by-brand/
BestSellingCars. "Market share of new car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by select brand." Chart. February 23, 2022. Statista. Accessed February 04, 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/673095/saudi-arabia-car-sales-market-share-by-brand/
BestSellingCars. (2022). Market share of new car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by select brand. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: February 04, 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/673095/saudi-arabia-car-sales-market-share-by-brand/
BestSellingCars. "Market Share of New Car Sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by Select Brand." Statista, Statista Inc., 23 Feb 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/673095/saudi-arabia-car-sales-market-share-by-brand/
BestSellingCars, Market share of new car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by select brand Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/673095/saudi-arabia-car-sales-market-share-by-brand/ (last visited February 04, 2023)
Market share of new car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2021, by select brand [Graph], BestSellingCars, February 23, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/673095/saudi-arabia-car-sales-market-share-by-brand/