Imports of cars and vehicles declined by 89.3% y/y to 437 units in Azerbaijan in January, according to the State Customs Committee (SCC).
Azerbaijan used to import a large number of second-hand vehicles, which peaked at 104,000 in 2013, from Europe via Georgia. However, the enforcement of the Euro-4 emission standards in April 2014 and the subdued consumer confidence have led to a steep decline in the number of car purchases. The Azerbaijani manat lost 50% of its value in 2014, resulting in lower purchasing power in dollar terms.
In 2015, Azerbaijan imported a total of 26,785 vehicles, the majority of which were cars - 23,765, followed by lorries - 1,961, buses - 816 and special-purpose vehicles - 243. Total imports of vehicles and spare parts amounted to $1.12bn in 2015, a 45% y/y increase.
Azerbaijan is Georgia's leading market for used cars, accounting for 55% of its neighbour's automotive sales, and the decline in Azerbaijan's imports affected Georgia's car exports, which dropped by 66% to $122mn in January-August 2015.
Over 1.2mn vehicles are registered in Azerbaijan, a country with a population of 9.5mn and poor road infrastructure outside the capital city. By 2025, the number of vehicles is expected to exceed 3mn.
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