The departing year of 2023 can be considered truly record-breaking and breakthrough for the automotive industry in Kazakhstan. The domestic market witnessed an increase in production, the commencement of construction for several factories, a rise in sales, including Chinese cars. Additionally, a pressing question emerged – can electric vehicles cope with the Kazakhstani climate? The country has seen a noticeable increase in registered electric cars, and Chinese brands introducing vehicles with new energy sources to the domestic market have become relevant.
First, it is worth noting the significant growth in the import of new and used passenger cars into Kazakhstan. If in January-November 2022, 46.2 thousand cars were imported into the country, this year the number reached 136.5 thousand. AutoReport editorial staff attributes this to pent-up demand. In 2022, Kazakhstani automotive companies experienced problems with the supply of new cars and components due to the war in Ukraine, after which Western companies left the Russian market. This forced Kazakhstani importers to reformat supply chains and revise the model range of cars.
Despite the growth in imports, domestically produced cars continue to be in high demand in Kazakhstan. From January to November 2023, official dealers sold almost 175.3 thousand new vehicles, which is 59% more than in the same period last year. Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Kia became the sales leaders.
In a conversation with AutoReport, the director of the Agency for Monitoring and Analysis of the Automotive Market, Artur Miskaryan, stated that the departing year of 2023 is ending on the level of the most optimistic forecasts. According to him, there are real chances to finish the year with a result of 200 thousand new cars sold.
He believes that domestic car manufacturers are likely to finish the year with a result of 160 thousand units of produced vehicles. Accordingly, by the end of the year, one can expect a 60% increase in sales and a 40% increase in production compared to last year's results.
"The trend of price stabilization that began at the end of 2022 continued this year: the planning and the process of buying a car have become more comfortable for the consumer, thanks to the absence of price volatility, reduced waiting times, and the availability of attractive financial instruments," said Artur Miskaryan.
Alexey Alexeev, the chief editor of the "Behind the Wheel" magazine, noted the growth of Chinese brands' presence in the Kazakhstani automotive market. He believes that, by the end of 2023, several Chinese brands will occupy places in the top 10 in terms of sales in Kazakhstan.
Alexey Alexeev also pointed out the official entry of Chinese companies with electric vehicle models, such as Zeekr and BYD, into the Kazakhstani market. In turn, Artur Miskaryan highlighted the premium Chinese cars, Hongqi.
AutoReport's interviewees agree that a significant outcome of 2023 is the increase in localization and the construction of three plants – Kia in Kostanay, Astana Motors Manufacturing Kazakhstan, and Orbis Manufacturing (both in Almaty).
In Kostanay, Korean cars Kia will be produced. The completion of construction is expected in 2024, followed by the installation of necessary equipment. The plant's design capacity will be 70 thousand cars per year. As for the Astana Motors Manufacturing Kazakhstan plant, it is the multi-brand plant from Astana Motors, where production of Chery, Haval, and Changan will be launched. The launch of these two facilities is expected in 2025.
Regarding the third plant, there is the least information available. In May 2023, Orbis Kazakhstan announced plans to build the Orbis Manufacturing plant, where Exeed cars would be produced. However, there is no information about the start of construction on the company's information platforms. Orbis Auto itself ignored AutoReport's request for information.
Artur Miskaryan also noted the start of production of Chinese Jetour cars at the plant in Kostanay in the spring of this year. In November, Jetour International and Allur signed an agreement to expand industrial cooperation. From the beginning of 2024, it is expected that Jetour cars will be produced in a semi-knocked-down manner, and Kazakhstan-made auto components will be installed.
AutoReport also highlights the signing of an agreement between the Kazakhstani company Allur and the German Volkswagen Group, which implies the start of Skoda car production in Kazakhstan. The production of cars is expected to begin in 2024.
Expectations for 2024
Experts believe that in 2024, Kazakhstanis will have access to a greater variety of car models. Artur Miskaryan also expects an expansion of options for online car purchases.
"In 2024, the market will continue to grow, the pace of which will be assessed after the first quarter. For consumers, next year should bring an increasing variety of brands and models, as well as expanded opportunities for online purchases," says Artur Miskaryan.
Alexey Alexeev predicts the emergence of two to three more Chinese brands in the Kazakhstani market.
"I think the trend towards an increasing share of sales of Chinese car brands will continue. New dealerships will open, and there will be two to three new Chinese brands in Kazakhstan," Alexey Alexeev stated.
Previously, the AutoReport editorial team asked ChatGPT to summarize the automotive industry in Kazakhstan for 2023. The artificial intelligence highlighted the growth in sales and production, the expansion of toll road sections, the renewal of the bus fleet, and the entry of the Chinese brand BYD into the domestic market.