Demand for cars in Latvia higher than supply in 2021

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Last year was better than the previous one for car dealers in Latvia as residents bought more, Latvian Radio reported January 5.

Last year, nearly a thousand more new cars were registered in Latvia than in 2020, or a total of 14,591 deals. Toyota brand cars are the most purchased in the new car segment, and it also has the largest increase in sales with nearly five hundred vehicles. Toyota is followed by the Škoda and VW brand cars, whose sales have declined slightly according to data from the Road Safety Directorate (CSDD). CSDD spokesman Mārtiņš Mālmeisters said overall data for December are yet to be collected.

"Over 60,000 passenger cars have been registered in 11 months, up by 4,000 passenger vehicles over 2020. What is the explanation? The explanation is most likely with the fact that 2020 was dominated by Covid-19's uncertain future plans. It taught society, people, businesses to live with this pandemic. And this year, the vehicle registration market recovered. And it's on the same level with previous years,” Mālmeisters said.

Motorists in Latvia have become more optimistic, and more than a quarter of Latvia's residents who drive the car daily, plan to purchase a car in the coming year, according to a survey conducted by the used car dealer Longo Group.

The number of drivers planning to replace their vehicles this year has increased by six percent.

The company's board chairman, Edgars Cērps, said he expects economic growth to increase the number of people who want to buy a car. The number of cars per capita is currently relatively low in the European context.

The president of the Latvian Authorised Automobile Dealers Association, Andris Kulbergs, stated that the demand for a car is greater than the dealers' possibilities of supply. He stressed that he did not remember when the situation of demand exceeding supply was last observed in Latvia.

The substantial rise in metal and energy resources affects not only customers' wallets but also increased car prices by 8-12 percent. At the same time, cars are still being purchased because many companies, for example, need to replace their fleet, which may have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most popular choice in the car purchase process is four to five-year-old cars, the survey shows. Ten-year-olds are just as popular, and very new, too.

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