Is it the end of welfare? (1)

New car purchases on the decline

Most of the Lebanese have been accustomed to a luxurious life (despite the decline in public services, including water, electricity, health, education and environment). They used to spend their money on purchasing many luxuries and non-essential goods, but this reality has changed today with the decline of welfare state.

We will discuss in separate articles many aspects of the declining welfare state. This piece will particularly tackle the purchase of new cars.

In light of the absence of common public transportation in Lebanon, the acquisition of private cars has become a luxury and an excess rather than a necessity; each household owns a number of cars that is equal to the number of family members. 

Moreover, as a result of the economic crisis that Lebanon is going through and the banks’ refusal to provide soft car loans, the new car purchases have decreased in the past years, declining further in 2020 and in the first trimester of 2021. The following table shows that the number of purchased cars has dropped 72% to 6,152 in 2020 from 21,991 in 2019 and 63% in the first trimester of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020.

A table showing the number of new cars sold during 2016-May 2021.

Source: Information International, based on the Association of Car Importers in Lebanon (AIA).

The next article will be about “shrimp consumption in Lebanon 2019-2020”.