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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

UAE car dealers rev up sales bonanza during Ramadan

Ramadan usually accounts for the highest percentage of sales throughout the year, according to Sayed Humayun Alam, the general manager at Almasaood Automobiles, Nissan’s dealer in Abu Dhabi.
Ramadan is usually the best season to buy cars as dealers offer cash discounts, free insurance, extended warranties and service packages to attract customers. Silvia Razgova / The National
Ramadan is usually the best season to buy cars as dealers offer cash discounts, free insurance, extended warranties and service packages to attract customers. Silvia Razgova / The National

Ramadan is proving to be a sales bonanza period for car dealers in the UAE thanks to the addition of cash discounts, free insurance, extended warranties and service packages.

Dealers are hoping that their special offers attract potential buyers and result in sales.

Ramadan usually accounts for the highest percentage of sales throughout the year, according to Sayed Humayun Alam, the general manager at Almasaood Automobiles, Nissan’s dealer in Abu Dhabi.

“We can double our sales in one month. When we prepare a business plan, we take into consideration seasonality, therefore we always have some attractive offers to entice customers to the showroom,” he said.

“It is evident from the footfalls in the showroom. People tend to wait for the Ramadan offers.”

Al Habtoor Motors – the official dealer for Mitsubishi, McLaren and Bentley in the UAE – achieved record sales of about 5,500 vehicles last month, a period that included two weeks of Ramadan.

“Ramadan sits in the top 30 per cent of sales months in the UAE,” said Karl Hamer, the general manager of Al Habtoor Motors.

“This has been a bumper year, with sales outstripping any year previously. We are 75 per cent up year on year.”

The dealer’s sales offers include financing. For instance, payment for a new Bentley GT is Dh10,733 a month, while the entire price tag for a Mitsubishi Pajero is about Dh100,000, and a Mitsubishi Mirage for under Dh30,000.

“We cover all the bases, so no one gets left out of the opportunities,” said Mr Haymer.

Compareit4me.com, a website that compares various types of consumer loans, said this month that car loans were among the most popular online products in the UAE during Ramadan. “It’s easy to get carried away and purchase a new car or take out additional debt because it’s a good deal,” Jon Richards, the site’s chief executive, said last week.

“Consumers need to think about the long-term impact of the debt and, most importantly, ensure that they can afford the additional commitment should their personal circumstances change”.

The aggressive offers from car dealers are a response to consumers spending more time online researching their next purchase and less time in the showrooms, according to an expert.

“The advantage of buying in Ramadan is that basically every car brand and dealership will have some offer on the table, meaning that consumers can truly shop around to find one to suit their needs,” said Mohammed Noweir, the managing director of Carmudi UAE, an online market for cars.

“Consumers research online so that they no longer need to spend as much time going to each dealership, meaning that salesmen have less time to convert a customer.

“It’s in a dealership’s interest to provide consumers with the most attractive offer on the market.”

Al Nabooda Automobiles, the dealer for Volkswagen in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said sales increased 19 per cent last Ramadan from the previous Ramadan.

Al Nabooda declined to comment on its offers for this Ramadan, but it has nearly doubled its discount for the VW Touareg to Dh40,000 from Dh22,000 last year.

During Ramadan, consumer visits to Al Nabooda’s showrooms increase significantly, usually requiring more staff on hand.

ascott@thenational.ae

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