Like others, the automotive industry in Lebanon has taken a significant hit this year as a result of a combination of factors that collectively caused the number of newly registered cars to plummet by 72.92%.
Statistics revealed by the Association of Car Importers in Lebanon (AIA) showed that there were no more than 6,101 newly registered cars in Lebanon by November 2020. In the same period last year, this number was 22,528.
Notably, the said number includes both commercial and passenger vehicles, which amounted to 5,702 and 399 respectively, as of the end of November 2020.
The discouraging numbers can largely be attributed to the economic crisis that Lebanon has been reeling from for months.
The crisis saw the U.S. dollar, a vital currency for import as well as local trade in general, disappear from the Lebanese market as the Lebanese pound‘s value rapidly deteriorated, dealing a massive blow to importers in various industries.
It also significantly damaged the Lebanese people’s purchasing power, which, in turn, negatively impacted demand and further contributed to the decrease in the import of cars as well as many other commodities.
It’s noteworthy that the August 4th Beirut explosion caused more than $5 million’s worth of damage to imported cars that were parked in Beirut Port at the time of the devastating explosion.
In addition to the sharp decrease in newly registered cars, the AIA’s report indicated a significant drop in taxes collected by the treasury from car importer companies, which amounted to $33 million this year, less by a wide margin than 2019’s $265 million.