Benin vehicles market in 2019 signed the 3rd negative annual performance in a string. Indeed, Full-year sales have been 747, down 9.1% from the previous year. Toyota dominated with over 40% of share, holding a huge gap over Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Benin’s free-market economy has grown consecutively for four years, though growth slowed in 2017, as its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity, with export earnings significantly impacted by the price of cotton in the broader market. The economy began deflating in 2017, with the consumer price index falling 0.8%.
Benin automotive industry is still quite marginal in the African landscapes. Indeed, we talk about new vehicles sales and not on second-hands trading activity for which the country is well-known.
Thanks to the low duties and free trade agreement with neighbouring countries, in the last decade the country was a trading point for used vehicles arriving from US and Europe, with a grow from bear 200.000 units imported in the 2010 to near 400.000 in the 2014, An estimated 80-90% are destined for the Nigerian market. The introduction of duties imposed for imported vehicles Nigeria has dramatically reduced this flow in the last years, hitting correlated affairs in the cost side of Benin.
However, our focus is on new vehicles sales, for which the local pro capita income is still very low. Poor infrastructures, limited availability o after sales operations, cost of spar parts are all key limit to the expansion of new car sales, which anyhow are recently growing fast, starting from just 217 units sold in the 2012.
The new vehicles’ market reached a peak of 1.143 units sold in 2016, while embarking on a negative pathway in the following years, with a moderate decline in 2017 (-5.7%) and a sharp fall in 2018 (-23.7%).
In 2019, the market reported the 3rd consecutive year-on-year decline, registering 747 units (-9.1%) at the lowest level since 2014.
In the competitive landscape, the dominator is Toyota, detaining over 40% of the light vehicles market, followed by Nissan and Mitsubishi.
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