The Effects of COVID-19 on the Automotive Industry

April 20, 2020

New report: How the crisis is affecting the UAE car market

Seez has produced a data report that shows the effects of COVID-19 on the automotive industry over Q1 in the United Arab Emirates. The report uses real market data from all significant UAE car listings websites, as well as Seez-specific data that includes searches, leads, conversions, and other behaviors. 

Some of the findings in the report show that the number of pre-owned online car listings (by private sellers and dealers) dropped by almost half from the average. However the percentage of cars viewed by users increased, which may indicate they are researching now and will likely buy later. Car prices have gone down at least 10-15%, with the biggest drop happening in mid-March with the introduction of new Covid-19 measures. Over the past two months car searches have dropped by 65-80% and lead conversions have dropped by 1/3. Brands like BMW, Lexus and Volkswagen, as well as Nissan and Toyota, have held up their market share best in their categories.

Car market prices

“Reliable data is key to crisis management. As a data-first company we are doing our small part and supporting the automotive industry with insights that give companies visibility on the market and can help them better navigate these critical times,” says Seez CEO Tarek Kabrit of the free report. “We are continuing to track this data on a daily basis to further understand the market as it changes.”

The report recommends using this downtime for brand-building and preparing for the future of online car sales. Additionally, Seez experts predict that once this situation improves there may be a rush to buy cars, especially amid health concerns. Given that people may be affected economically, pre-owned vehicles and car leasing are better-positioned than other mobility solutions. The UAE stimulus package will have a mid-long term positive effect on sales, as it will help dealers with cheaper funding and consumers with payment of VAT, Salik, parking fees, etc. 

Seez also has annual reports on car market data from the UAE in 2019 and 2018.

Read the report here for free

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