Roads Once Less Travelled — the Middle East and the SUV
As one of the most prosperous economic regions in the world, the Middle East attracts many automotive manufacturers looking to take advantage of this vast wealth.
While luxurious sports cars and executive saloons target the most affluent individuals, SUVs have become the car of choice with scores of everyday motorists. It's become a lucrative market and shows no signs of slowing down. From small SUV cars to large all-terrain vehicles, the Middle East has become a region that loves its motors.
A Blossoming Market
In contrast to the US and Europe, SUV sales have soared across the Middle East in recent years, as fuel prices are less of an issue here. According to a report on Bloomberg, some brands have enjoyed as much as 50% growth in the region's largest market of Saudi Arabia.
Ask any major manufacturer and chances are they'll tell you that the Middle East has the most potential of any region or is currently their biggest market.
Competition between US, European, and Japanese SUVs is fierce, but certain trends have become apparent. While some consumers feel more affection towards US-built cars, Japanese manufacturers have gained an upper hand due to their hugely reliable, technologically advanced and robust vehicles.
Coping with ‘No Car's' Land — the Popularity of SUVs
In a region that boasts some challenging natural terrain, such as mountain ranges and deserts, a vehicle that can go off road without any fuss is somewhat essential. At the same time, the Middle East's climate and geography often means that motorists must drive long distances under a relentlessly blazing sun. It all makes a dependable vehicle with mod cons such as air-conditioning, cruise control and in-car entertainment highly desirable.
Thankfully, the range of SUVs available in the Middle East can cope with these demands. Smaller cars feature a surprising amount of interior additions yet can still accommodate entire families, while larger vehicles can take on the tough terrain without so much as batting an eyelid (or buckling a tire, as the case may be!). Now that the people have access to vehicles that can stand up to the terrain and get motorists from A to B under difficult conditions, the Middle East's SUV market is most definitely here to stay.