Auto industry makes tentative recovery

The local automobile market began to pick up in the past few weeks after being badly bruised by the global financial crisis that began in 2008, say industry insiders.

“This year’s first quarter sales have picked up,” said Alaa el-Sabaa, member of the Chambers of Commerce Federation’s automotive department. “But this doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the year will be positive.”

El-Sabaa attributed the improvement in sales to the banks offering better credit facilities. “Credit lines are not as good as they were in 2007, but they still helped the market to recover,” he said. He pointed out that some 50 percent of the sales had been executed through bank loans, whereas the rate usually stood between 65 and 70 percent.

Car sales rose by 68.3 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the Automotive Information Council.

Automotive Department Vice President Amr Balba said the local market had not been greatly affected by Toyota’s recent decision to recall some models in other parts of the world.

On the global level, General Motors announced that it had managed to pay the last installment of an American-Canadian loan of US$8.4 billion after a 36-percent sales increase.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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