After Libya, Yemen, Iran, Syria and Egypt, we are back in the Middle-East this weekend to visit Saudi Arabia. A (very dangerous) Saudi specialty is drifting a la ‘Fast and Furious’ in traffic-filled streets, as you can see in the video above. Do not try this at home please!
Now if you’re not interested in knowing more about car sales in Saudi Arabia, then I am very disappointed in you. But there are two things you can do: check out the 19 countries we have already explored each weekend by clicking here, or explore the 154 other countries available in my blog.
One thing I bet you didn’t know is that Saudi Arabia’s tastes for cars are very similar to America’s…
The Saudi car market has not been affected much by the economic crisis, with sales up 1% in 2009 at 595,586 units and BMI estimated figures for 2010 standing at 619,220 units, up 2% year-on-year. This places Saudi Arabia as the 2nd biggest Middle-Eastern car market behind Iran.
Gas is cheap as in Saudi Arabia, so owning and using a car is not a ruinous affair.
I haven’t managed to access official models ranking data for Saudi Arabia so if you live there or know any more detail about this market please do get in touch! This is when my friend You Tube comes into play and enables me to give you a rough idea of what cars Saudi consumers buy.
Discarding camels, it does look like the Toyota Camry is the best-selling model in the country, and has been for a while looking at the different generations of the model flogging the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah. Most of the Camrys in circulation in Saudi Arabia are shipped directly from Australia where Toyota build the right hand drive version of the model. This would therefore makes Saudi Arabia a very similar market to America where the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling passenger car for nearly a decade.
Toyota and Lexus combined are estimated to hold close to half of the Saudi Arabian car market, with the Toyota Corolla…
… Yaris sedan…
and Land Cruiser also solid sellers.
Hyundai is also very strong in the country with the Elantra a favorite and the all-new Accent off to a great start.
Chevrolet is not left behind and should place the Aveo…
… and Caprice, also imported from Australia where it is sold as a Holden, among the best-sellers.
Another US/Saudi Arabia common trait is the love for the large Honda Accord.
Lastly the bit of trivia you’ve all been waiting for: Saudi Arabia is the 2nd largest market in the world for American SUV’s after… the USA themselves. Most popular there are the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban.
And now you are an expert about car sales in Saudi Arabia, and you know which cars to expect in the streets if you happen to visit this Middle-Eastern country in the near future.
The original Saudi Arabia post on my blog can be seen here.
This speculation is based on the observation of the streets of the main cities in Saudi Arabia through recent YouTube videos. If you have more information about the Saudi Arabian market please make sure to get in touch.