Saudi tire imports in upward trend
Saudi Arabia is the largest tire consuming country in the Middle East, spending $50 to $100 million annually on tire imports, market sources recently disclosed according to Al-Hayat.
Saudi Arabia is the largest and most sophisticated car market in the Near East. Official statistics show that the number of registered automobiles in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia grew by nearly 20 percent between 1993 and 1998, from 5,861,614 cars to 7,046,154.
A recent report by the Saudi Customs Bureau revealed that 84,000 cars, valued at 5.4 billion Saudi riyals ($1.4 billion), were imported into the Kingdom during the first quarter of 2001. The Kingdom presently imports over a quarter of a million cars each year, and as the local demand for automotives continues to grow, so does the market for tires.
In recent years, as many buyers have switched to used and reconditioned cars, the average car age has increased from five to almost ten years. Other growth factors for the automotive maintenance marker are the deteriorating road system, and a high accident rate.
Earlier this year, the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) banned the import of Firestone tires into the Kingdom. The ban was in response to defective tires entering the country. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)