March 3, 2009

SUV sales improve with Iraqi security

Sport utility vehicle sales are increasing in Iraq as security in the war-battered Middle Eastern country improves, a Baghdad car dealer says.

With improved safety, Iraqis who once thought a shiny, new car made them a kidnapping target are feeling freer to spend on flashy vehicles, USA Today reported Tuesday.

The Iraqis are very rich. As soon as the security improved, they started buying cars, Shwan Burhan, a car dealer in Baghdad, told the newspaper.

Despite the $30,000 price tag, 18-year-olds, they buy the Hummer, said Hidar al-Dalfiy, owner of Baghdad's Hummer Cars. It's showing off.

More than status, the Hummer is known as a car able to survive some of the city's crumbling streets, the report said.

Gasoline in Iraq, which has the third largest oil reserves in the world, now costs $1.65 per gallon, helping mitigate some of the cost of buying a new gas-guzzler, the newspaper said.