Only the Rich Buy New Cars

A few days ago, Monitor published an interesting fact that is truly illustrative for the lopsided economic growth of Albania, much touted by the government. In 2016, 2,545 new cars were registered in Albania, an increase of 40% compared to the year before.

Compared to the number of cars on the Albanian roads, about 300,000 cars, the number is rather low. The level of new car registrations compared to the total number of registered cars is less than 1%, as if cars had a longevity of 100 years!

Among the companies with the highest increase in registrations is Auto Star, the official dealer of Mercedes-Benz in Albania, whose recently renovated offices luxuriate along Durrës–Tirana highway. This company registered 139 new cars in 2016, compared to 73 in 2015, an increase of 90%.

The annual income of Auto Star for 2016 was around €13 million, which means that Auto Star sold its cars for an average of €92,000 (including the service on sold cars). For Mektrin Motor, the Range Rover dealer, this was €81,000, €29,000 for Ford dealer Albanian Motor Company, and €25,000 for Porsche Albania, which deals in Audi, Škoda, Volkswagen, and others. All of these other companies only show little increase in sales.

In other words, during 2016, the increase in car sales only happened in the field of luxury cars ­– Albania’s economic growth only appears to profit the oligarchs of the country.