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AUTO-FINANCING

by EOS Intelligence EOS Intelligence No Comments

The Return of Consumer Credit – What Does It Mean for Algerian Passenger Vehicles Industry?

(This post, along with recently published article on auto financing in Nigeria, formed a mainstay of a broader coverage article titled ‘Affordable auto financing essential for OEM success in Africa’, contributed by EOS Intelligence to ‘Guide to the automotive world in 2017’, Automotive World’s annual publication covering a gamut of articles by leading global automotive industry analysts and consultants. The report was published in January 2017)

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Banned in 2009 in order to curb the national import bill as well as the level of household debt, consumer credit was reinstated in Algeria in early 2016 to encourage the consumption of national products. In the local automotive industry, Renault Symbol is the only passenger vehicle currently available on auto financing, since Renault is the only locally assembled vehicle in Algeria. Can the return of consumer credit along with other policies provide the much needed boost to the nation’s passenger vehicle industry?

With a total population of approximately 40 million, Algeria is the second largest automotive market on the African continent. For the past several years, the country’s automotive industry has relied heavily on imports from Europe and Asia, importing nearly two million cars between 2012 and 2015. Today, the industry continues to be heavily dominated by imported vehicles, which account for approximately 85-90% of the total market. Passenger car manufacturing is limited, with Renault Algerie being the only domestic manufacturer (the Renault Algerie production plant is an assembly unit that builds the Symbol model from completely knocked down production for the Algerian market).

In 2009, all consumer loans were abolished by the government in an effort to reduce import bills as well as the level of household debt. However, in 2016, under the Executive Decree No. 15-114 of May 2015, consumer loans were made available on selected goods manufactured nationally. Under the scheme, car loans are available only on Renault Symbol, since it is the only locally-assembled vehicle.

Unlike in Nigeria and in several other African countries, where accessibility and affordability of car finance remain an immense challenge, in Algeria, a considerable part of the population can qualify for loans based on their monthly income level. As a result, major Algerian banks have seen a rapid surge of car loan applications. Although access to consumer finance has boosted car loan applications over the second half of 2016, this is not likely to significantly impact the industry growth, since consumers have no choice in selecting either brand or model. In addition, Renault’s current production volumes are very limited (25,000 vehicles per annum) and cannot meet the total local demand. However, due to the recently introduced reforms, the industry dynamics can be expected to change in the next few years.

EOS Perspective

The current economic environment, along with the implementation of licensing system and import quotas are likely to have a negative impact on the passenger vehicles industry in the short term. New vehicle sales can be expected to witness a decline to some extent in 2017. But the recent developments are also likely to push automakers to invest in setting up local production facilities. The arrival of major OEMs and their production projects is expected to serve as a growth catalyst for the local automotive industry over medium to long term. Once these projects become operational, local production volumes might increase significantly, which will provide consumers with more buying options. In addition, the ease of consumer lending could accelerate household spending, leading to increased bank lending in the automotive industry. As competition between banks intensifies, more innovative and affordable car financing solutions are likely to be available to consumers in Algeria, which can in turn attract many consumers across segments to buy new cars. The rising and young middle-class Algerians are likely to consider shifting from entry-level segment to the luxury segment, as they can spread their payments over a longer period of time (e.g. up to 60 months).

All of these efforts combined together – the recent industry reforms, auto manufacturing projects in the pipeline, and auto lending – can be expected to fuel growth in Algeria’s passenger vehicle industry.

by EOS Intelligence EOS Intelligence No Comments

Affordable Auto Financing – The Key to New Passenger Vehicle Sales in Nigeria

Since the announcement of the National Automotive Industry Plan in 2013, the Nigerian automotive industry has witnessed an increased interest from several global automakers. As a result of the Plan as well as recent reforms made by the Nigerian government, PwC predicts Nigeria has a chance of becoming Africa’s auto manufacturing hub by 2050. However, the passenger vehicles market in Nigeria remains heavily dominated by imported second-hand cars, mainly due to the various industry challenges, including lack of access to auto financing. Could affordable auto financing schemes drive growth in Nigeria’s new passenger vehicles market?


This post formed a mainstay of a broader coverage article titled
Affordable auto financing essential for OEM success in Africa’, contributed by EOS Intelligence to ‘Guide to the automotive world in 2017’, Automotive World’s annual publication covering a gamut of articles by leading global automotive industry analysts and consultants. The report was published in January 2015.


Nigeria’s new passenger vehicle sales are far behind sales in countries such as Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, despite the fact that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. With a giant share of nearly 80%, Tokunbo vehicles (local name for imported used vehicles) heavily dominate the Nigerian passenger vehicles market.

Although there is a plethora of industry challenges that range from lack of cohesive government policies to poor infrastructure, one of the major growth constraints at present is the lack of affordable auto financing. Due to the limited accessibility and expensive financing options, new vehicles remain out of the reach for most Nigerians.

Nigeria Affordable Auto Financing

Nigeria Affordable Auto Financing

Currently, the cost of auto financing in Nigeria is exorbitant. Amid current economic environment and credit criteria, only a small segment of the population can obtain auto loans. Therefore, most Nigerians either buy used cars or save money over period of time to buy new vehicle for cash, stalling the new vehicle sales – retail customers accounted for less than one-third of all new cars sold in 2015.

This shows how lack of financing options is holding growth in a market segment with the highest growth potential. According to Lagos Business School’s research, an affordable vehicle finance scheme could boost Nigeria’s annual new vehicles sales to one million from 56,000 units at present.

Nigeria Affordable Auto Financing

Nigeria Affordable Auto Financing

EOS Perspective

Although the National Automotive Industry Plan and recent government reforms managed to attract some FDI in recent years, the Nigerian passenger vehicles industry still remains heavily reliant on imported used cars. As the government plans to curb the country’s auto imports, as a first step, the industry stakeholders should plan policies that can make new vehicle ownership more attractive to mass consumers.

The current credit facilities offered by banks are unattractive to many consumers due to cost and credit terms. In order to fuel growth in local vehicle manufacturing and new vehicle sales, the industry, along with the help of CBN, should develop more affordable vehicle credit purchase schemes targeted at the mass middle class population.

Further, as majority of consumers simply have little or no credit history, the current lending models are not going take the industry growth any further. By leveraging on alternative credit data such as payment data from utility and telecom companies, lenders should look beyond credit scores to segment a new customer base of creditworthy consumers.

For vehicle manufacturers and dealers, there is a tremendous opportunity to move up the value chain by setting up in-house financing with the help of the right partners. By offering innovative auto finance solutions, they can push the demand for new vehicles, especially among millennial and emerging middle class first-time buyers.

Whether Nigeria is capable of becoming the next auto manufacturing hub for Africa, only time will tell, but with better financing options, it can surely boost new car sales and help the local automotive industry to progress.

by EOS Intelligence EOS Intelligence No Comments

Auto-Financing in China – A Valuable Business Proposition

From a humble beginning in 1998, when state-owned banks were first allowed to provide car loans, automotive financing has come a long way in China. Vehicle loans are now available through commercial banks and automotive finance companies (AFCs), which are mainly non-banking financing companies (captive subsidiaries of automotive OEMs, both domestic and foreign). According to a 2012 report by Minseng and Deloitte, outstanding car loans are expected to grow over five times to reach US$ 160 billion during the next decade, from US$ 31 billion in 2011.

China has been a late bloomer when it comes to automotive finance, mainly because of its cultural mindset, which has been against credit-based consumption (houses are still paid for in cash, so a cash purchase of a car isn’t considered a big deal). However, in the last few years, the Chinese have become more open to the idea of credit and the trend of automotive finance has caught up, mostly with younger generations. About 80% of automotive financing consumers in China are individuals in the 20-40 years age group, according to a survey conducted by China Europe International Business School. The survey also found that 30% of buyers in this age group are likely to choose some form of auto financing, compared to only 10% of buyers over the age of 40.

Auto loan penetration rate currently is about 10% and is expected to triple by 2017. Developed automotive finance markets such as USA, UK and Germany boast of penetration rate of 92%, 74% and 70%, respectively; thereby highlighting the underlying potential in the world’s largest automotive market.

This potential hasn’t gone unnoticed and China now boasts of having close to two dozen automotive finance companies; however, these AFCs only account for one-fifth of the car loans market. The market is instead dominated by commercial banks, mainly the big four state-owned banks, largely thanks to their significant first-mover advantage over AFCs (state owned banks have operated in this segment since 1998, while AFCs started offering auto-financing in 2003).

Another disadvantage for AFCs vis-à-vis commercial banks is their inability to raise funds through bank deposits or by issuing bonds. In China, AFCs are only allowed to raise funds through inter-bank lending. Consequently, interest rates offered by AFCs to car buyers are higher, making their services less competitive. Moreover, AFCs also face a mismatch between the maturity of short-terms loans they have to take from banks and the maturity of the long-term car loans they provide to their customers. With such unfavourable financial conditions, AFCs find it tough to compete with commercial banks.

In spite of the many constraints, AFCs continue to set up their businesses in China (almost 10 new entrants over the past 24 months). One luring factor is China’s gradual opening-up of its domestic financial markets to foreign investors. The world’s second-largest economy is also considering allowing foreign AFCs to issue financial bonds in China. Moving from bank loans to bond financing, should help AFCs reduce funding costs and become more competitive. Bond issuance will also help them in extending the average maturity of their liabilities and create a better maturity match between their assets and liabilities.

The market potential for automotive financing in China is obviously huge, and with the gradual easing of regulatory barriers, foreign financing companies are much more comfortable setting up a shop in the country. This will lead to more competitive financing options for automotive consumers and will also go a long way in popularizing automotive financing concept in China.

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