How Bulgaria became the leader of the European car market

The second hand decreases as a share

At the same time, the Ministry of the Interior reports a drop in the registrations of second-hand cars, which have always driven the Bulgarian market – from 165,000 to 150,000 for the first nine months, or a drop of 9%. The total number of newly registered motor vehicles (which also includes trucks, buses, etc.) also reported a decline – from 214 to 203 thousand. Typically, the sales of new to used passenger cars in previous years was one to nine in ten, and now this ratio visibly reduced to one in seven.

The decline is due to several factors, according to market people. On the one hand, imports from Western Europe are falling due to higher demand and higher prices there, as well as for older cars. For example, in one of the main sources of second-hand cars for Bulgaria, Italy, the regime for scrap cars was tightened (unfortunately, they also come here).

The other is that for the first time in years the difference in prices between new cars and used ones about 1-2, or even 3 years old, is so low, say the industry. And here there are drastic examples: it happens that ordering a new car of a certain model and modification costs less than a similar used one, which, however, is available and can be bought immediately. It’s just that the customer wants it now.

The revenue leaders

After the pandemic 2020, most car importers in Bulgaria report an increase in their revenue for 2021 (see table), even though their car deliveries were hit. The leader is “Renault Nissan Bulgaria”, and the reason is clear – the company is the official importer of the leading two brands on the Bulgarian market last year – Dacia and Renault, which then delivered 4,004 and 3,258 passenger cars respectively, as well as over 1,500 more from Nissan. Its revenues grew by 10% to BGN 293 million. Although Dacia lost its leadership this year (until September) to Toyota, the Bulgarian company is expected to continue to be the leader in terms of turnover.

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