Tunisia 2020. Kia becomes the new leader in a market unaffected by the pandemic (-1.1%)

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Tunisia car market
The 2020 Kia XCeed

Tunisian auto market in 2020 falls by only 1.1% despite the pandemic,  lockdowns, and a fall in tourism. Full-Year sales have been 50.825, while Kia (+19%) becomes the new market leader by overtaking Isuzu (-12.9%).

Economic Environment

The economic panorama remains subdued in the second half of the year, following the sharp pandemic-induced contraction in activity in Q2. Merchandise trade data for Q3 indicated a slump in exports as slack demand from key international markets hit the mining and energy sectors, while imports nosedived on evaporating domestic demand.

Moreover, the inhibited state of global tourism has hit the hospitality sector hard, with revenues from tourist activities expected to have plunged across the third quarter.

The economy is projected to rebound strongly in 2021 after a marked contraction in 2020. Growth in household and capital spending should boost domestic demand, while the expected return of higher levels of tourism is likely to bolster the external sector. Uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic clouds the outlook.

Market Trend

The Tunisian car market remained almost flat in 2020 despite the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent drop in tourism.

In the last decade, the market has been dynamic. In the period 2014-2017, the market hit all records in sequence, despite data not including the grey market, which is estimated to be over 10% of the “official”. After the record of 63.678 units sold in 2017, the market declined sharply in 2018, hit by the economic crisis, falling down at 52.935 (-16.9%).

In 2019 the negative path was not broken. Indeed, Total sales in 2019 have been 50.275, down 16.9% from the previous year. However, this is primarily due to the drop of the LCV segment, while the Passenger Car actually grew moderately from the previous year.

Indeed, Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 50.825, reporting a decline of only 1.1% compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the new leader Kia (+19%) gained 1.4% market share, overtaking Isuzu (-12.9%), which lost 1.8% share. Peugeot (+10.2%) reached third position and gained 0.5% market share.

The most sold model in the country this year is the Isuzu D-Max with 2.547 sales (-0.7%), holding 5% share.