The knock-on effects of accelerated growth in Abu Dhabi’s economy during the second half of 2012 helped Al Masaood Automobiles register a 50 per cent on year rise in car sales last year, its chief executive officer told reporters.
Al Masaood, the authorised dealer for Nissan, Renault and Infiniti in Abu Dhabi altogther sold 14,374 units in 2012, with Nissan sales rising 53 per cent year-on-year. Al Masaood has 31 cars in its Nissan model lineup, 11 in Renault and 10 cars in the Infiniti model lineup.
“Japan’s recovery from the earthquake and tsunami and the arrival of new models helped push our car sales last year, said Irfan Tansel, adding investments by the Abu Dhabi government to boost the local economy also helped drive vehicle sales in the emirate in general in 2012.
“Commercial vehicle sales rose in the last six months of 2012. Commercial vehicle sales are a good gauge to track the economy as their purchases are business decisions and not emotional decisions. Their sales are the first to be affected by a crisis and they are the first ones to come out of it,” said Tansel.
Tansel said Nissan Patrol sales comprised 24 per cent of their total Nissan sales in 2012. The high-end SUV sells in a price range of Dh180,000 to Dh315,000 in Abu Dhabi, ex-showroom.
“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for the recently launched Infinity JX and next generation Nissan Altima. 2013 promises to be exciting due to the positive outlook for Abu Dhabi’s economy, complemented with the introduction of new models in the Nissan, Infiniti and Renault lineup,” said Tansel.
He said February would see the introduction of a new segment car, the Sentra, which would replace the Tiida saloon in their Nissan lineup. Imported from Thailand, the Sentra would have a price ranging between Dh55,000 and Dh70,000, ex-showroom, depending on the variant. In March, a new model of Nissan Pathfinder would be introduced in Abu Dhabi, Tansel added.
Tansel admitted margins have been under pressure due to increased competition in the passenger car segments.
“The high margins of previous years are gone. The margins will continue to drop. Now, the after-sales is more important in terms of profitability than vehicle sales,” said Tansel.
“Enhancement of lineup will allow us to address emerging customer needs and successfully reach out to a wider prospect base. We are continually making significant investments in our facilities, manpower and services to complement our growth objectives and maximise customer satisfaction,” he added.