By Rob Morris
Credit worthy nationals and expatriates can still secure loans for high performance cars.
UAE-based Liberty Automobiles has said it remains confident of selling 50 percent more sports and performance cars this year, despite industry predictions thatcar sales will drop throughout the Middle East.
A new ‘performance car corner’ at Liberty’s Sharjah showroom had been built to help boost sales of Corvettes, Luminas, Caprices and Chevrolet Speciality Vehicles, revealed Rajesh Krishnan, Chevrolet division general manager at Liberty Automobiles.
The car corner was introduced to capitalise on “extraordinary and increasing demand in performance cars during the past year”, he said - adding that the economic crisis would not stop expatriates and Emiratis in the UAE from buying sports cars.
In recent months, car buyers relying on financing have struggled to afford new vehicles as banks tighten their credit lines.
But, Krishnan said the limited access to funding would not hamper Liberty’s sports car sales as the company had an agreement with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank that enabled customers to secure financing with few obstacles.
“They [customers] are not really struggling – they are coming here and if they are credit worthy the banks are giving them money,” he said.
Under the terms of deal, car buyers have 90 days to make their first payment and receive free registration for their vehicles.
“We as dealers will not sit back and cry, saying ‘this is what the market is like. We are going out and offering something to ensure customers get the best offers,” ” Krishnan added.
Global car sales are expected to plummet in 2009, with several automotive companies announcing cutbacks as the financial crisis continues.
Liberty Automobiles is a General Motors dealer with showrooms in Dubai, Sharjah and the northern emirates.
On Feb. 20, shares in Chevrolet’s parent General Motors plummeted to $1.52 – its worst value in 70 years.
"We grew 30 percent for all our products last year and we may not touch that figure this year because it’s not realistic," Krishnan said.
If they only sold 10 cars last year its easy to predict a 50% rise in sales. It is all relative...
When rest of the world is sitting tight and not buying sport cars, we see (another) very optimistic forecast here. When consumers in other markets are extremely concerned about long term survival of the american car industry (and therefore availability of spares for new cars) we are told that here there are not such worries. I look forward to seeing end of year figures. Really.
This manager says growing sales of regular automobiles by just 30% this year is going to be a stretch, yet somehow sports car sales are going to grow by 50%! Keep deluding yourself, buddy.
This is a case of rampant optimism or delusion ramblings?
Wakey-wakey rise n shine Mr Krishnan. You should really step out of your sporty office into the real world. News flash for you! There is a recession underway.