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Car sales up 23% in Jan-April, deliveries catch up

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Car sales in the first four months of 2023 have increased by 23.4% compared to the same period last year, giving hope to importers that the market is reviving following a tough three-year period with the COVID19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

According to the island’s statistical services Cystat, the total registrations of motor vehicles increased by 23.4% to 13,180 in January-April, from 10,682 in January-April 2022.

Car dealers are encouraged by the increase reported but note that “issues keeping the industry down in the past few years, are still very much at play”.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, the head of the Cyprus Vehicle Importers Association, Alexis Anninos, said that the increase in registrations is due to deliveries of vehicles ordered last year.

“Issues concerning the shortage of semi-conductors, delays in the supply chain, made worse by the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, are still taking a toll on the industry and sales,” said Anninos.

He also pointed out that the increase is on sales recorded in 2022, a year when the world economy was struggling to make a comeback, only to be hit by the war in Ukraine.

In 2022, according to CyStat, car sales reached their lowest ebb in seven years as sales continued to drop for a fourth consecutive year because of growing uncertainty during the pandemic and the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Asked what categories of cars were more popular amongst buyers, Anninos said that all types of cars were on the rise, with electric vehicles making their presence felt just last year.

“The electric car market had essentially kicked off in Cyprus with the incentive scheme promoted by the government last year. A number of orders made within the framework of the 2022 scheme are just being delivered now,” he said.

Anninos noted that dealers are expected to receive orders for some 500 electric vehicles approved in the framework of the second phase of the electric vehicle subsidy scheme, launched in 2023.

The stats

The total registrations of motor vehicles increased by 23.4% to 13,180 in January-April 2023, from 10,682 in January-April 2022.

In April 2023, the registrations of motor vehicles totalled 2,987, an increase of 6.3% compared to 2,810 in April last year. Passenger saloon cars registered a rise of 1.5% to 2,282, from 2,249 in April 2022.

Passenger saloon cars increased to 10,546 in the first four months of the year, from 8,631 in January-April 2022, recording a rise of 22.2%.

Of the total passenger saloon cars, 4,784 or 45.4% were new and 5,762 or 54.6% were used cars. Rental cars in particular recorded a rise of 25.3% to 1,717.