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Used car imports up by 40% in 2014 — sector leader

By Dana Al Emam - Dec 30,2014 - Last updated at Dec 30,2014

AMMAN — The value of used cars Jordan imported in 2014 reached around JD650 million, registering a 40 per cent increase over 2013, a sector leader said Tuesday.

President of the Jordan Free Zone Investors Association Nabil Rumman said Jordan has imported 62,047 used cars this year, while the total number reached 43,774 last year valued at JD450 million. 

He attributed the "good" local demand on automobiles to the "very wide spread" of hybrid cars, citing some 17,000 hybrid cars sold in the local market this year, with Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry dominating the market.

In a bid to renew the vehicles on the Kingdom’s roads and to address the ballooning gasoline bill, the Cabinet decided on June 1, 2012 to reduce the tax on small-engine hybrids from 55 per cent of the value of the vehicle to 25 per cent and to place a five-year age limit on all cars entering the local market.

The decision also granted owners of cars that are 10 years old or more a further tax discount, under which they pay 12.5 per cent in a special tax for hybrids while their old cars are handed over to authorities to be scrapped.

However, the number of exported cars from the free zone this year reached some 91,000, while last year it was over 112,000, with Iraq being the main export market.

Therefore, the increase in local demand has partially compensated for the "poor" performance of the auto export market due to political unrest, said Rumman, adding that the total value of vehicles that entered the local and export markets during the year has reached JD1.5 billion.

Exports to Iraq have dropped “sharply” this year, said Rumman, as the Karameh border crossing is almost closed due to the terrorism threat. He added that exports to Libya have also stopped.

“Almost half of the cars exported to Iraq from Jordan reach the Iranian market,” he said, hoping for 2015 to be “more peaceful” in order to revive the market.

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