By Victoria Scott
If you think Qatar’s traffic is bad now, just wait until 2020.
A new report is predicting that an estimated 912,000 cars are set to be cruising down the country’s roads within the next three years.
That’s more than 200,000 extra cars on the road than there are currently.
And it translates into the highest percentage growth in passenger car use — 5.4 percent — of all GCC countries over the next five years.
New car sales slowing
According to Alpen, Qatar registered over 86,000 new vehicles last year, a 9.3 percent increase on sales from 2010.
The report attributed this growth to “domestic opulence” and the country’s population, which has continued to climb despite falling oil prices.
However, the report’s authors acknowledge that the economic slowdown will have an effect on the new car market in the new couple of years.
They also point out that Qatar’s decision to vary the cost of fuel each month is also taking its toll on the demand for new vehicles.
With these points in mind, Alpen’s report stated that demand for new cars in Qatar will decline in 2016 and remain under pressure in 2017.
However, the market will grow in later years due to the expected increase in population and tourist arrivals ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Most popular brands
The report also analyzed trends in the country’s car market, confirming that the majority of residents favor Toyota.
Thirty-seven percent of all new passenger car purchases in Qatar during the first four months of this year were from Toyota.
That’s an increase of 2.8 percentage points from the same period in 2015, the report said.
Second was Nissan, with 15 percent of new car sales, and Mitsubishi came in third with a 9 percent share of the market.