Used vehicle market offers relief for auto industry

Muscat, Sept 2 – With social media turning out to be an effective platform for the business to business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) activities, the used-car entrepreneurs seem to be a major beneficiary. Everyday thousands of new vehicles are posted for sale by both individual sellers the licenced retailers, which support the fact that the car market is still showing resilience.
A total of 37,061 new vehicles were registered by expatriates and 48,922 new vehicles by Omanis in 2018.
At the same time, 84,171 vehicle registrations were renewed by Omanis and 20,080 by expatriates in 2018.
As of June 2019, there was an increase of 4.2 per cent in the total vehicles registered compared to the same period in 2018, with most of the registrations taking place in the engine capacity if 1,500 cc and 3,000 cc and more than 4,500 cc.
While the market for new vehicles has been reporting slow growth over the past few years, the used-car market seems to be giving a serious competition.
“The automobile market industry faces challenges due to the overall economic situation. But the used-car market has come of age with the potential buyers getting smarter with enough resources to find whether their purchases are worth the spend or not,” said Hashim, a used-car dealer.
He added, “People check with multiple garage technicians about a vehicle, including the successes rate of that particular model, maintenance and accident history. Also, with the contact details of the licenced used-car dealers splashed across social media platforms as well as conventional stores, it is easy to take the matter to the consumer protection in case of a foul play’’.
However, a senior sales executive of a leading brand told the Observer, “The used-car market is not in competition with the new vehicles but rather they complement each other. In fact, most of the car dealers in Oman have their own segments for used-cars… Social media is the only platform which is readily available and more effective than the person-to-person canvassing of a product. As in any field, you will find some unscrupulous characters, but people have enough simple mechanisms to uncover and report such activities’’.