Lebanon - Country Commercial Guide
Automotive

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-09-29

Overview

The size of the automotive market in Lebanon decreased by 30 percent in 2019, with total imports valued at $1.175 billion.  U.S. automotive exports to Lebanon decreased by 27 percent in 2019 to reach $253 million, representing 21 percent of total Lebanese automotive imports.

Given that the local financial sector has imposed strict controls on capital outflows, experts predict a major decrease in automotive exports to Lebanon.  Imports in the first half of 2020 have already fallen by 50 percent compared to the same period in 2019.  With the destruction of the Port of Beirut, analysts expect imports to fall even further.  New car sales declined by over 70 percent in the first half of 2020 relative to the first half of 2019, per official customs data. 

Table 2: Automotive Chart

 

2018

2019

2020 (Estimate)

2021 (Projection)

Total Local Production

0

0

0

0

Total Exports

$23 million

$28 million

$34 million

$17 million

Total Imports

$1.659 billion

$1.175 billion

$320 million

$160 million

Imports from the U.S.

$343 million

$253 million

$66 million

$33 million

Total Market Size

$1.636 billion

$1.147 billion

$286 million

$143 million

Exchange Rates

LBP1507.5

LBP1507.5

LBP1507.5

LBP1507.5

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Units: $ millions

Source: Lebanese Customs statistics – Section 17

Leading Sub-Sectors

Some industry analysts predict demand for U.S.-made sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) will remain constant.  SUVs can withstand poor road quality conditions throughout the country.  Lebanese have traditionally purchased U.S. SUVs because of their competitive price, high quality, and long record of success in the market.  Moreover, demand for U.S. automotive parts such as brakes, clutches, engine lubricants, and safety accessories will exist because of the demonstrated quality advantage of U.S. parts as compared to foreign competitors.

Opportunities

The U.S. Commercial Service provides a wide range of services, including Gold Key Service (GKS) and International Partner Search (IPS), which help U.S. companies explore and identify opportunities in Lebanon.  Moreover, the U.S. Commercial Service organizes events and exhibitions to promote U.S. products and services in Beirut.

Web Resources

Lebanese Customs Administration

U.S. Commercial Service

Contact for the Commercial Section that covers the automotive sector:  Naaman Tayyar, Head of Commercial section, Email: Naaman.Tayyar@trade.gov.