Abu Dhabi: Al Masaood Automobiles, the Abu Dhabi distributor for three global car brands, expects 2018 sales to be marginally better despite challenging market conditions, its sales and marketing director told Gulf News on Tuesday.

Al Masaood Automobiles is the distributor for Nissan, Renault and Infinity in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region.

“We have bucked the trend in all the three and we are optimistic that we will improve and there will be some improvement over 2017. It’s a challenging market but we are trying to find ways to make it work and we are,” said Kyle Gilliam, sales and marketing director at Al Masaood Automobiles.

In 2017, Al Masaood saw growth in the sales of all three brands. Renault posted a growth of 20 per cent, Nissan 10 per cent and Infinity saw a growth of 8.2 per cent in 2017 over 2016.

Al Masaood launched new Renault Duster in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday with the expectations of tapping the mid-market segment.

Speaking at the launch Fredrick Leons, general manager of sales for Renault, said the Abu Dhabi market has been challenging but market sentiment is strong especially with the new Dh50 billion initiative announced by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince.

“Most of the companies are positive about it. In September, we had a fantastic closing for the month and had a 50 per cent growth, year-on-year, in sales of Renault.”

He expects sales to be 1,200 for the year 2018, which is almost similar to the sales in 2017.

“The market has shifted definitely but at the same time it’s not that there are no requirements. In the past, an individual [wanted] to buy a vehicle, now you may want to lease it. So if one door is shut, there is another door that has opened where leasing companies are buying vehicles.”