The Saudi market posts a 5th straight Quarter of double-digit growth.
The Saudi new car market continues to be spectacularly boosted by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of women at the wheel since the ban on Saudi women driving was lifted on 24 June 2018. After Q1 2019 (+14.3%), Q2 2019 (+27.6%), Q3 2019 (+37.8%) and Q4 2019 (+41%), Q1 2020 (+28.6%) marks the fifth consecutive Quarter of double-digit year-on-year growth for Saudi sales. This turnaround is all the more spectacular that it follows three straight years of double-digit decline: -21.4% in 2016, -22.3% in 2017 and -23.4% in 2018. Most strikingly, Q1 2020 volumes are not dented that much by the COVID-19 pandemic: January sales are up 47% year-on-year to 47.743, February up 44.6% to 51.562, with March down by just -2% to 38.408. However things are about to change drastically and Q2 2020 volumes will likely be significantly down. If by March 31 only 1.563 COVID-19 cases were reported in the country, on April 8 as many as 150 members of the Saudi royal family had tested positive and by April 29 confirmed cases had skyrocketed to 21.402, placing Saudi Arabia among the 20 most affected countries in the world as various curfews and business closures were implemented starting March 15.
The Hyundai Elantra is the best-selling vehicle in KSA so far in 2020.
For now, Toyota (+40.9%) frankly outpaces the galloping market to reach 29% share vs. 26.4% a year ago, with Hyundai (+23.2%), Nissan (+20.1%) and Mazda (+23.7%) all dynamic but not quite as much as the market, resulting in thawing shares. Kia (+35.3%) is the only additional Top 7 carmaker to beat the market, but it’s towards the tail end of the Top 10 that things get spectacular. After managing a first Full Year of Saudi sales inside the Top 10 in 2019 (#10), Chinese carmaker Changan (+103.3%) improves further to #8 overall with 2.8% share. There is a second Chinese manufacturer in the Saudi Top 10 for 2020: MG (+84.8%) up two spots on Q1 2019 to #9. Finally Renault (+140.8%) easily lodges the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 10 – and Top 15 – to leap up 3 spots and break into the Top 10 at #10. Below, notice Infiniti (+239%), Lincoln (+185.7%), Suzuki (+172.3%), Honda (+75.1%), Cadillac (+62.3%) and Volvo (+50%) all progressing brilliantly.
The Kia Pegas lands directly at #10.
Model-wise, the Hyundai Elantra (+62.9%) authoritatvely takes control of the Saudi charts for 2020 so far, reaching 7.3% share with over 10.000 sales. It distances the Toyota Camry (+33%) and last year’s leader, the Hyundai Accent (+26.4%) in a podium 100% passenger cars like in 2019. The Toyota Hilux (+28.1%) leads the pickup charge at #4 but it’s sedans again that secure the most spectacular gains in the remainder of the Top 10: the Toyota Corolla (+113.4%), Nissan Sunny (+61.2%), Mazda6 (+58.9%) and Toyota Yaris (+52.6%). Moreover, the most successful recent launch (<12 months) is by far the Kia Pegas, managing the exploit of landing directly inside the Q1 2020 Top 10. Notice also the Renault Symbol (+729.6%) up 53 spots to #14 just as the Toyota RAV4 (+336.1%), Rush (+150.8%), Chevrolet Spark (+119.2%) and Hyundai Kona (+93%) also impress in the Top 25. The MG 5 (#26), Changan Alsvin (#43), Kia Seltos (#52), MG RX8 (#68), MG T60 (#73), MG HS (#86), Ford Escort (#87), Hyundai Palisade (#91) and Kia Telluride (#93) also make their way into the Top 100.
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Full Q1 2020 Top 35 All-brands and Top 100 models vs. Q1 2019 figures below.