Surprising absolutely no one, Al Arabiya reports that armored car sales are booming in the Middle East. And where are they getting these cars from? America.
Armored car sales are on the rise in in Middle East countries like Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria as well as places like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Libya reports Al Arabiya. Armored car companies, like Texas Armoring Corporation, have seen 15% year-over-year growth in the region for the past two or three years.
The economics of the industry are very up and down, but the impetus for sales is very straightforward. That's what Patrick Aouad, CEO of Lebanon-based Yaka Group explained to Al Arabiya. Sales shot up, for instance, when Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated by an explosives-filled van detonating next to his motorcade in 2005.
Aouad followed with a businesslike view on Syria, saying "if there’s a strike on Syria, and Syria becomes like Iraq, you have to count around 1,000 to 1,500 [sales of armored cars] in Syria." The total market is currently about 3,000 armored car in the region per year.
While there are concerns about selling armored cars to terrorists, dictators, and other baddies, as Al Bawaba points out, so long as people are blowing each other up, the armored car market will remain strong.
Photo Credit: Texas Armoring Corporation (Armored Bentley Continental Flying Spur pictured preparing for air transport to an unknown location)