After Argentina, Brazil and Libya, I am keeping the surprises coming thick and fast, with our next stop in our ‘round the world travel being… wait for it… North Korea! This way, Dear Leader Kim Jong will feel a bit less “ronery, so ronery, so ronery and sadry arone.”)
If you can’t wait for the next update and want to know all about car sales in 154 countries around the planet, simply go here.
Let’s clear the air right from the start: There are no official car sales figures available for North Korea. Didn’t think so did you? This is where my ‘alternative’ methods come in… Little bit trickier than other countries but I managed to find a few long enough and recent YouTube videos of the streets of PyongYang to get a rather clear idea of what cars sell best in North Korea.
I also have to say the task was made simpler by the fact that the same models kept coming back on screen, and to be honest, the streets of Pyongyang are not that crowded so it doesn’t take long for a rough ranking to come up.
Another (rather essential) fact to know is that the only car manufacturer/assembler in North Korea is Pyeonghwa Motors. (Wikipedia says there is a second NK car brand, but I couldn’t find any trace of it anywhere.)
Pyeonghwa has the exclusive rights to car production, to new and used car sales in North Korea and is the only company in the country permitted to advertise.
So that should make the sales ranking pretty straight-forward…
And straight-forward it is.
The best selling car in the country should be by far the Pyeonghwa Samchunri. Never heard of it? I hadn’t either. The Samchunri is a rebadged Chinese Jinbei Haise van, itself based on the 1989 Toyota Hiace. It is assembled in North Korea under license from Brilliance China Auto (which owns the brand Jinbei).
Another rebadged Brilliance, the Pyeonghwa Hwiparam II (aka Brilliance BS4) should follow at #2. If you really want to know, the Hwiparam I was a rebadged 1996 Fiat Albea. Don’t ask…
The third best selling model should be the Pyeonghwa Premio CUV, a rebadged Huanghai Shuguan. Think Hyundai Santa Fe nose, and previous generation Kia Sorento back… some kind of Kiandai Santa Sorento, except it’s called Huanghai Shuguan.
Stop laughing, you in the back!
There do seem to be some imports, which came as a surprise to me thinking probably that as nothing came out of North Korea, nothing came in either. Well the best selling imports should be the BYD F3, #1 in China in 2010, and the Lada Priora, currently #2 in Russia.
So there you have it, the best selling cars in North Korea. Hands up who knew which was the best seller before reading this article? Right. You did learn something today!
Now if you think I’m making all this up and don’t believe a word I say, (Pyeongwhat?) that’s ok. I knew some of you would! That’s why I prepared a few links for your entertainment…
The Wikipedia page about Pyeonghwa Motors is here, and I have selected three YouTube videos of the streets of Pyongyang for you to travel through the city as if you were there:
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.