Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Africa is the new big market for luxury car brands

AFP, ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast

Mercedes also views the potential of the African market as “enormous,” a spokeswoman said.

The German carmaker has an assembly line in South Africa, where it sells 20,000 vehicles per year.

BMW said it also intends to keep expanding across Africa, where it saw 15 percent sales growth last year to 34,000 vehicles.

As for Audi, the company expects further growth in certain parts of Africa, where its sales have doubled in three years to 22,000 vehicles.

The carmakers are also being pulled in by the need to service their vehicles that have already found their way into African countries.

A lack of parts and diagnostic equipment has led to these high-performance vehicles being kept off the road for months in Abidjan, according to an expert on the local car market.

“If Porsche comes to Ivory Coast, customers will be overjoyed to be able to repair their cars in a company garage,” another expert on the African market said.

“But they won’t necessarily buy there,” he added.

“Well-heeled clients are no different than others” and will likely plump for a second-hand vehicle in good condition that is much less expensive, he said.

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