Bulgarians cannot do without cars as shown by statistic data on the number of cars and the population of the country. Bulgarians are less than 7 million people, but the cars in this country are about 4 million.
But it is interesting to know what the cars that Bulgarians mostly buy are. In a nutshell, the answer is - old cars, mostly German ones and preferably diesel ones, which are gradually withdrawn from the German market. According to Eurostat, in Bulgaria vehicles with an age of less than 5 years are just 5%, or about 160,000. Cars aged up to 10 years are 10% or about 400,000, and those between 10 and 20 years old are 60% of all, or nearly 2.4 million vehicles. Cars that are over 20 years old are nearly 1 million or 25% of all cars in Bulgaria.
Preferences for older cars are due to the lower purchasing power of the Bulgarians and for this reason the average price of a second-hand car purchased in this country is 2,000 – 3,000 euros. Prices for new cars start from 10,000 euros and one can easily see why with an average salary of 644 euros a month, the number of newly purchased cars for a year is just about 35,000.
But the automotive sector in Bulgaria is not limited to vehicles moving on the streets, roads and highways. Bulgaria is one of the leading companies in the world when it comes to production of spare parts, systems and components for almost all global car brands. There are over 250 companies operating in the country employing about 65,000 Bulgarians. But the government's ambitions are even greater and a fierce battle is underway to attract one of the world's largest German automakers to open a factory in Bulgaria. Turkey has great chances to win this investment, but Bulgaria has been doing everything it could to convince the German industrialists that it is the right place for their new plant. According to articles in German media, preferences are going to Turkey so far, but a final decision is expected in a month. At the same time, negotiations are underway for opening a plant of a major South Korean carmaker as well as another South Korean factory that is a world leader in the production of electric car batteries.
When it comes to electric vehicles, it has to be said that in Bulgaria hybrid and electric cars are not very popular yet. According to latest data, there are around 800 fully electric cars and over 2000 hybrids in this country. Currently, 18 different brands of alternative cars are available on the domestic market, with prices ranging between EUR 30,000 and EUR 40,000. According to experts in the industry, apart from the high price, one of the main obstacles to the development of this "transport of the future" in Bulgaria is the lack of sufficient charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as the lack of a number of bonuses and discounts offered in developed European countries to electric vehicle owners.
English: Alexander Markov