BEIRUT: New car sales rose 7.4 percent in the first eight months of 2012 as 27,832 units, including commercial vehicles, were registered compared to 25,904 last year, according to data released by the Association of Car Importers in Lebanon. But overall trends are shifting toward lower-priced cars – below $20,000 – which now make up to 91 percent of total cars sold, compared to 84.6 percent by September 2009. Korean cars still top the lists, taking over 44.8 percent of the market with 11,714 new vehicles sold, also achieving the best growth of 14.5 percent compared to last year. Kia continues to hold the highest single brand market share at 26.9 percent, followed by Hyundai at 17.9 percent. Japanese cars took 27.26 percent of the market by selling 7,126 cars. European cars lagged behind with 20.5 percent of the market or 5,354 cars. In September, a total of 3,130 new cars were sold, up from 5.9 percent over September 2011.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 17, 2012, on page 5.