Manufactured locally, the Renault Symbol is the best-selling vehicle in Algeria in 2016.
The Algerian government has stopped communicating monthly car sales data for Algeria since the start of January 2016. As predicted in our last post, the Algerian market imploded in 2016. In order to reduce expenses on imported cars from $5.7 billion in 2014 (417.913 units) to $3.1 billion in 2015 (265.523) and $1 billion in 2016, annual import quotas were introduced. Originally 152.000, then reduced to 83.000, these were then lifted again to 98.000. To this must be added local production, slowly gaining momentum in the country. The attribution of local distribution licences have been postponed multiple times and are linked to applications for the construction of local factories. In other words, as a carmaker it is becoming increasingly difficult to sell new cars in Algeria if you are not at least applying to build a factory in the country.
The Hyundai Creta is produced locally in Tiaret.
As a result, car prices have skyrocketed – the car is back to being an almost unattainable luxury in Algeria – and the market has come to a halt, with not even the import quotas nor locally-produced vehicles finding many buyers. The situation is so desperate that the government has just allowed car dealers to now sell used cars and the Algiers Motor Show planned for March 2017 has been cancelled. In this context, the locally-produced Renault Symbol tops the sales charts and Renault-Dacia gains a gigantic 17.7 percentage points of market share to hit 51.3%.
What’s in store for 2017? The new import quotas is 55.000, half of that of 2016, and local production will reach somewhere between 100.000 and 135.000 units this year. The Renault factory in Tielat is scheduled to produced 60.000 units of the Symbol in 2017, while Hyundai has announced it will spit out between 30.000 and 60.000 i10 and Creta in Tiaret and Volkswagen will produce 12.000 units of Amarok, Polo and Caddy (from June) in Relizane.