29 pc dip in new private vehicle registrations

Muscat, Aug 25 – The number of new private vehicles registered in Oman continues to see a decline, pointing to the challenging market conditions despite the surge in oil prices in recent months. The number of new private vehicles registered in July 2018 declined 29.7 per cent as against 58,569 during the same period of 2017. Sources in the automobile industry attribute the market sluggishness to delays in salary payments and job uncertainties in the private sector. “People are reluctant to invest in new products. It makes sense as depreciation is higher compared with the used vehicles,” said a senior sales executive of a popular automobile brand.

He added: “Probably the improvement in oil prices is yet to trickle down to our potential customers. Their purchasing power and shopping have been affected due to erratic salaries over an extended period.” A top ranking official of a dealership said the reliability of the user car market has made a big difference. “The used car market is more organised than it was a few years ago due to the easy availability of bank loans and better mechanisms to verify a vehicle’s usefulness.” Mahesh Pratapan, who owns a Sedan, is keen on switching to an SUV, but is not sure when to make the move. “The private sector companies are facing issues with the cash flow.

Hopefully it should get better as companies manage to get new projects and bills are cleared faster than it is at the moment.” There has been a 2.9-per cent dip in the new registration of commercial vehicles, 31.6 per cent in rental vehicles, 27.8 per cent in taxis, 22 per cent in motorcycles, 69.6 per cent in diplomatic vehicles and 45.5 per cent in driving school vehicles. Overall, there has been a 23.9-per cent decline in new vehicles being registered in 2018 as against 78,205 in 2017.

Vinod Nair