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Algeria 2016: Punishing government quotas will trigger 65% market drop

Renault Symbol Algeria 2016. Picture courtesy arabgt.comManufactured locally, the Renault Symbol isn’t affected by the quotas and will be #1 in 2016.

No sales data available from Algeria since the start of the year, and this may have to do with new government quotas that are bound to make the local new car market literally implode in 2016. BSCB forecasts Algerian new car sales could freefall by as much as 65% in 2016 to less than 100.000 units based on the import quotas detailed below. On May 10, import licenses were finally awarded to a selected 40 automotive dealers for the year of 2016, a decision that in all logic should have been taken during 2015 in order for stock and sales to be accurately forecast and prepared for by each manufacturer. But late timing is the least of the worries of carmakers present in Algeria. These quotas are incomprehensibly low and seem to point towards punishing” measures to carmakers unwilling to invest in local production.

Algeria – 2016 import quotas compared to 2015 sales:

PosBrand2016 Quota/152015 salesPos
Total market66,240-75%270,000

Market leader Renault gets the maximum allocation of 15.000 sales each for Renault and Dacia, that’s a respective 70% and 63% decrease on 2015 sales figures. Renault will be able to use some of the 50.000 Symbol produced locally in Oued Tlélat to cement its pole position, but it is unclear how many will be exported. At best, we would be looking at a total of 55.000 sales for the Renault Group in Algeria in 2016 vs. close to 90.000 in 2015 (-40%).

Peugeot 301 Algeria 2016. Picture courtesy of autoalgerie.comImport quotas will force Peugeot to drop its sales in Algeria by 81% in 2016.

On the other hand, the Algerian government appears to be penalising Peugeot for postponing partnership contracts that could lead to local production. Only 7.000 sales were allocated to the French carmaker for 2016 vs. over 36.000 in 2015: a 81% drop. Le Soir d’Algérie reports that Peugeot has already taken orders for 9.000 vehicles for 2016, meaning they must cancel 2.000 of those and cannot take any more orders for the remainder of the year. Hyundai is even more hardly hit: its 3.140 sales quota is what it sold in one month in 2015… The VAG Group is allocated 11.000 annual sales (-63%), Kia 6.800 (-55%) and brands such as Suzuki (6.578 sales in 2015), Ford (1.520), Tata and Isuzu are purely and simply forbidden to import any new vehicles into the country, their respective quotas amounting to zero!

Suzuki Vitara Algeria 2016. Picture courtesy cannot sell any cars in Algeria in 2016. It sold 6.578 in 2015. 

This dramatic situation will result at best in a 65% year-on-year contraction of the Algerian new car market in 2016, which in turn will translate in numerous dealership closures and job losses. Algeria is aligning with a Tunisian market that used to be similarly restricted by import quotas but has loosened up in recent times. The car is back to being an almost unattainable luxury in Algeria, a country that is going back in time.  Source: B. Bellil, Le Soir d’Algérie

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