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Yulia N. Hristova, Doctor of Economics, Chief Assistant Professor of Economics and Management of Commerce Dept. University of Economics – Varna


The market of new cars in Bulgaria is well developed, but relatively poorly studied. In the turbulent present-day reality, competition dynamics causes constant change in the markets’ positioning map that is built on an ambiguous set of rivals, metrics and sources of advantage. The paper assesses the sustainability of competitive positions of the five biggest new car importers in Bulgaria for the period of 2015–2019 and discusses the challenges they face. The methodological basis of the study includes the theoretical aspects of competitive positioning, benchmarking and competitive advantages of firms. Methods of descriptive analysis, financial ratio analysis, DuPont and SGR analysis are used to evaluate positions of enterprises by 11 key result indicators. The research results indicate a permanence in intermediaries’ positions in the Bulgarian car market and relatively even distribution of their performance indicators. Among the major challenges facing the leaders in the automobile industry are low margins, high cost of sales and a necessity for better inventory management. To rectify the problems, the author puts forward proposals concerning the development of the car business, which include formulating the differentiation strategy aimed at both the car brand and commercial services, transforming the traditional business model into an omni-channel one, and increasing the attractiveness of the pricing and logistics strategy and the strategy of diversification. The current research can be of interest to car intermediaries in Bulgaria and other countries as well as serve as a basis for a more comprehensive and in-depth study into the competitiveness of the Bulgarian automobile market and firms.


sustainable positioning; car intermediaries; competitive advantage; competitiveness; car market; Bulgaria.

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For citation: Hristova Y.N. (2021). Sustainability of competitive positioning and challenges for intermediaries in the new car market in Bulgaria. Upravlenets – The Manager, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 67–80. DOI: 10.29141/2218-5003-2021-12-3-6.