Yes I am back! And after Saudi Arabia, we are staying in the (Greater) Middle East to go to Afghanistan.
Now if you have been to Afghanistan already to fight the war or something, you would already know by now what cars are most popular there so I suggest you check out my blog where I cover 154 more countries. Enjoy!
Alright so there are no official car sales figures for Afghanistan, but the country is famous for one thing…
…and this is the fact that around 90% of the cars in circulation are… Toyota Corollas! Yes 90% you have read the right number. All the generations of the model covering the last 40 years are present in the streets of Kabul and other cities of the country.
Only a few hundred new Corollas are sold every year in Afghanistan…
That’s because a vast majority of Corollas entering Afghanistan are used imports from Japan, Germany, Canada and the USA. Used Corollas pour into the country in an continuous flow, most of them being shipped via Dubai of all places.
All versions are represented: sedans, hatchbacks, yellow station wagons that were cabs in a previous life… There is one Corolla for every taste!
The most popular Corollas are from the early 1990′s with more than 300,000 km on the clock. Germany-produced Corollas supposedly get better mileage.
White Corollas sell much better and can fetch up to $1,500 more than an similar model in black, simply because they show less dirt and therefore don’t need to be washed as often…
Over the years, a full industry of mechanics appeared,specialized in the art of keeping Corollas running . Nowadays a lot of models see most of their parts completely replaced during their life-cycle.
So there you have it, a lot of Corollas produced around the planet actually come to die and live again in Afghanistan.
The other 10% of the Afghan market is also very straight forward:
Toyota Land Cruiser
and a few Mercedeses and Suzuki pick-ups.
Now you are an expert in Afghan car sales.
Oh wait not yet, the traditional gold nugget is coming your way: Toyota was not always dominating car sales in Afghanistan, even after the appearance of the Corolla…
During the 80s and the Soviet occupation, Russian Volgas were also extremely popular. They unfortunately didn’t stand the test of time, leaving the market wide open for Toyota.
There. Now you are an expert.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.