(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Automobile sales in the Middle East touched record levels and the UAE ranked top in terms of growth in sales in 2012 compared to 2011.
The region and the UAE markets dominate by Japanese manufacturers, but European brands claim higher and all-time high growth in last year's sales.
Automobile sales in the Middle East went as much as high to 22 per cent and the UAE recorded up to 67 per cent growth in sales, according to annual statements issued by regional offices of European auto manufacturers.
French car manufacturer Renault, which aims to become number one European brand in 2016, reported 10 per cent growth in region while the growth was 67 per cent last year over previous year in the UAE.
In 2012, Renault volumes in the consolidated scope of countries of Renault Middle East have reach 116,952 units for a total market share in the region of 4.4 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent in 2011.
Renault distributor for Dubai and other five emirates Arabian Automobiles reported a record-breaking 67 per cent growth in six emirates.
Ashish Goel, deputy general manager, Arabian Automobiles Renault said: "With the onset of 2012, the business saw a double-digit growth in sales thanks to growing confidence in customers' purchase behavior and further interest in the Renault line-up. The arrival of the Renault Duster gained a lot of interest among UAE residents and played a huge role in increasing traffic to our showrooms."
German car manufacturer Audi said it recorded a 16.4 per cent growth in the region and sold 9,155 vehicles in 2012.
In 2012 the UAE made up 41 per cent of Audi's total sales across the Middle East with 3,819 units sold - a plus of 21.7 per cent. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait followed closely with 1,918 and 1,279 units sold in 2012 respectively.
Volkswagen Middle East has announced that 2012 was its most successful year to date, in terms of regional sales, with a 22 per cent increase on 2011. With a total of over 13,000 vehicles delivered to customers across 12 Middle East markets, the company's year-end results clearly demonstrate the continued strength and desirability of the brand across the region.
Al Nabooda Automobiles has ended 2012 by breaking its annual Volkswagen sales figures. The exclusive Volkswagen dealer for Dubai and the Northern Emirates sold 3,145 cars in 2012 compared to 2,306 in 2011, representing a 36 per cent increase.
Thomas Milz, managing director, Volkswagen Middle East said: "2012 was a great success for Volkswagen Middle East in terms of sales growth and our aim is to build on that success to make 2013 an even greater year. Together with our partners, Volkswagen in the Middle East remains committed to offering our customers world class products and service and to continue driving the brand forward with on-going investment in facilities, customer service and the launch of new models."
BMW Group said it has delivered more than 20,000 vehicles in the Middle East in 2012, reflecting 14 per cent growth on 2011 deliveries.
The UAE remained the biggest market, accounting for 47 per cent of BMW and MINI regional sales and almost 10,000 vehicles sold.