Cameroon's new vehicle market is a fraction of the size of some its larger regional neighbours, but its growth rate has picked up significantly in 2013. Car ownership is still low by regional standards and is only just expected to pass 20 cars per 1,000 people during our five-year forecast period to 2018, which suggests there is not the same level of middle class development as in some of the bigger Sub-Saharan African markets. Several economic episodes have reduced demand for new cars in favour of cheaper second-hand alternatives. These include the economic crisis of the 1980s, the franc's devaluation and the reduction in civil servant salaries in the 1990s.
Auto sales in Cameroon for 2013 came in at 4,039 units, which was an increase of 30.5%. We remain positive on the market going into 2014. However, sales in the beginning of the year have lost some of their momentum.
According to Renault Group, vehicle sales in the country for the Q114 came in at 1,058 units, a decrease of 0.4% y-o-y. We have downgraded our full-year sales growth forecast to 6.0%, to 4,281 units.
This is in line with our view that growth in vehicle sales will moderate after experiencing such heady growth in 2013.
We estimate real GDP growth in Cameroon to average 4.8% from 2014-2018 and then increase to an average of 4.9% from 2018-2023. This is on the back of investment in several new mega-projects and increased oil production. Private consumption growth is the largest component of GDP, at 70%, but it is in some ways the least dynamic. We see growth in private consumption averaging 4.3% per annum between 2014 and 2018.
In fact it is the investment component of GDP, which will be doing the heavy lifting, to help economic growth reach our bullish forecast. We forecast investment (including change in inventories) to grow at an average of 6.7% per annum over the 2014-2018 period. This will boost demand for commercial vehicles, as explained further in the 'Infrastructure' section.
As the market is...
The Cameroon Autos Report features the latest data and forecasts covering production, sales, imports and exports.
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