After Libya, Yemen and Iran, we are back in the Middle-East this weekend in Syria because let’s face it, this is where world news happens at the moment and the car expert that you are has to be aware of which cars are the best-sellers in the region so you can show off while watching the news: “That’s a Kia Cerrato Forte, right behind that cloud of teargas.”
Now if you are already Middle-Easted out, that’s ok, there are 154 other countries to explore in my blog. It’s the best blog in the world (after TTAC perhaps) yes it is!
Alright so there are no official car sales data that I know of for Syria so my old friend YouTube helped me figure out which models were the most successful in the country, spending a few hours going through recent videos of the streets of capital city Damascus.
And there is one word to summarize it all: Syria = Korea.
Yes, Syrian consumers have chosen: they are into Korean cars, and nothing else. That’s right.
Hyundai Elantras can be seen literally on every street corner, which means the model must have been securing at least 10 percent of the market since the launch of the current generation in 2006. It will be interesting to see how the 2011 model fares here.
Another Korean model which seems to have enjoyed an even more spectacular success is the Kia Cerato Forte, already omnipresent (if sometimes obscured by the omnipresent dust storms) in the streets of Damascus only 1 year after its original launch.
Here is one in better light. And with a little product placement.
The third extremely successful model in Syria is the Kia Rio, making it clear the type of cars Syrian consumers go for: just practical and reliable value for money compact sedans.
Here the close-up.
Other favorites include the Kia Picanto, Hyundai Accent, Tucson and Santa Fe.
And that’s it for Syria. See, now you can watch the news and say: “Looks like Syria is in deep kimchi.”
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.