Ramadan bargains for new car buyers

ABU DHABI // Car dealers are looking to the traditionally busy holy month to recoup on poor sales this year – so don’t be afraid to squeeze them, an industry insider advises.

With low oil prices hitting the economy and job losses in major sectors, some dealers are reporting sales 25 per cent lower than normal for the first five months of the year.

“Car sales across the industry are down 10 to 15 per cent this year,” said Bill Carter, head of valuations and product manager at Autodata Middle East.

“If you are looking for a new car Ramadan is the time to buy, because dealers are willing to negotiate. No dealer expects to sell at the price advertised.

“If you’re a dealer and your sales are flat, you’re having a good year.

“The Ramadan offers are extensions of the deals that have already been offered, with five years’ service, free insurance and so on. Therefore, the negotiation is in the price.”

Karl Hamer, general manager of Al Habtoor Motors, said Ramadan was a very important month for car dealers, for sales and to stimulate the market.

“It’s been a tough year for cars sales, both for commercial and passenger vehicles,” Mr Hamer said.

“We are 9 per cent down in the UAE on passenger car sales and probably 15 per cent down on commercial vehicles in 2016. I know other dealers who have fallen 20 to 25 per cent this year.

“We are starting our Ramadan deals on the May 25 with the highlight being on the Mitsubishi Pajero – put your deposit down and pay nothing till 2017.”

Hussam Baghdadi, sales general manager for Infiniti at Arabian Automobiles, said his company was expecting a sales increase of 25 per cent over the holy month.

“Ramadan is the peak of the year for the automotive industry,” said Mr Baghdadi. “Ramadan is the month of giving, people believe it is a blessed time to buy hence the car industry giving its best offers.

“We expect a 25 per cent sales increase with showroom traffic doubling during the month.”


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