Saudi Arabia car imports accelerate by 33% in 2012

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Saudi Arabia imported 982,000 vehicles of various brands during 2012, an increase of 33 percent from 737,000 cars in the preceding year, the Central Statistics Department (CSD) said in a report published Tuesday by al-Madinah newspaper.

In terms of value, total vehicle imports last year reached SR76.6 billion, an increase of 42 percent against 2011, the CSD data showed.

According to the report, the US topped car exporters to the Kingdom for the second year in a row, replacing Japan, which was the number one exporter until 2011.

Moreover, the report said South Korea took second place after the US as a major car exporter to the Kingdom last year, relegating Japan into third place.

The CSD said the Kingdom imported 215,000 cars from the US last year at the value of SR20.59 billion and 207,000 cars from South Korea.

Quoting figures issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the CSD said car imports financed by the local commercial banks during the first half of 2013 increased by 32 percent to reach SR28.16 billion, compared to SR21.31 billion during the same period last year.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on August 14, 2013

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