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Tue 12 Jan 2010 12:09 PM

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Saudi car sales in 2010 seen rising by $2bn

Kingdom's auto sector predicted to recover from downturn, to hit $25bn by 2013 - study.

Saudi car sales in 2010 seen rising by $2bn
ROAD TO RECOVERY: Saudi car sales are predicted to rise $2bn in 2010, compared to last year. (Getty Images)

Car sales in Saudi Arabia in 2010 are predicted to exceed those of last year by $2 billion as the kingdom's auto sector recovers from the global economic crisis.

After tepid growth in 2009 of around $600mn over 2008, the 2010-2013 period growth in the value of auto sales "will be more robust", Business Monitor International said in its latest quarterly report on the sector.

The research house said the value of sales in the country is expected to reach $18.53bn in 2010, a $2bn increase over 2009, and will rise further to $20.37bn in 2011, $22.73bn in 2012, and $25.05bn in 2013.

Between 2010-2013, the number of vehicle units sold in Saudi Arabia is forecast by BMI to increase from 676,000 to 880,000, an increase of just over 30 percent.

BMI's report said: "Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector is showing signs of weathering the economic storm that hit the global economy in the latter half of 2008 and which continued to wreak havoc throughout the first half of thisyear.

"While the fundamentals are still weaker than in previous years, there is gradually increasing confidence that the worst is over for the kingdom’s auto sector and that things could start to improve."

Overall BMI expects that by end-2013, sales should be up by nearly 50 percent compared with 2008 levels.

"Market revival from 2010 will be spurred on by increased lending, with car loans to rise from under 50 percent toover 70 percent of car sales, which has been typical of other Gulf markets," the report added.

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