Sales of vehicles "Made in China" are gaining momentum in the markets of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) although shares remain marginal due to the strong position of Japanese and German car manufacturers.
Speaking at the ongoing biennial Dubai International Motor Show, Hisam Khan, the general manager of car Naser M. Alsayer Group, the sole distributor of Chinese car brand BYD (Build Your Dreams), said BYD sold in the UAE 350 cars in 2012, and we will definitely increase sales amid strong demand from mostly middle-class buyers. "
While this figure appears tiny compared with Japanese or German car giants. Germany's Audi for example sold in first nine months 2013 alone 3,235 units in the UAE. Nevertheless, Khan said he was optimistic that Chinese cars as a brand are just at the beginning of a long journey on the Gulf state's streets and desert roads.
"We will soon launch an intensive marketing campaign with advertising in newspapers, magazines and online. We will not target a specific group of people, but the affluent middle class in general," Khan said.
In relation to occupied floor space in the Dubai world trade exhibition center, this year's Dubai International Motor Show is 35 percent bigger than the last one in 2011 and the presence of automotives "Made in China" is also expanding.
Vehicles from China also present in the show include Foton, Chery, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, Brilliance and Great Wall and etc. Great Wall is the market leader in its home market which produces around 90 percent of all cars made in china, said G. Machiner, sales manager of commercial vehicles at Dubai-based Al Naboodah, the exclusive distribution firm of Great Wall cars in the UAE.
Since presence in the UAE in 2011, Great Wall has so far sold 4, 800 units since then. "For 2013, we expect to sell 1,000 units for the first time, up from 702 units last year," said Machinder, adding that Great Wall so far only sold commercial vehicles like pickup trucks.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the second largest Arab economy (after Saudi Arabia). Car sales in the UAE alone rose by 18.7 percent in the first six months of this year, for a year-end forecast of 380,000 vehicles for 2013 which would translate into a 23 percent year on year increase, according to the motor show organizer.