Yes but you might not want to go to Cambodia this week – I hear some of you moan already…That’s OK I will respond, because I’ve prepared 155 other countries for you to visit in my blog, and I can tell you it is just great, so click away!
The one thing in common Cambodia has with America is: their love for the Toyota Camry!
While in the States the Camry love story has been going on for nearly 15 years with no divorce in sight, in Cambodia it goes even further.
The story of why Cambodians love the Toyota Camry is a familiar story for a lot developing countries. Where cars are still a luxury and most of them are taxis, it helps if most cars on the road are the same model, so you can pick /steal parts from other cars, so the mechanics can become experts in that model and so spare parts can be easily found. In the late 1970s/early 1980s when Cambodia fell to the Red Khmers then the Vietnamese army, it was decided that the Camry was the perfect taxi.
Thanks to its reliability in the wild, the Camry established itself as the omnious car in Cambodia and different generations of the model poured onto the country’s roads. Nowadays, the Camry is by far the most common sight on Cambodian streets. Their provenance is another story.
In Cambodia, due to very high import duties on new cars and a non-existent local industry, sales of new cars are very limited and account for only around 10% of the total sales of cars in any given year. For example in 2010, Cambodia imported a total of 562,529 old and new vehicles, up from 361,146 units in 2009. Only a few thousands of these were actually new cars.
And here comes an interesting fact: most Camrys in circulation in Cambodia are actually imported pre-owned, directly from the US, Japan, or the Middle-East…
After the Camry, another very common sight in the streets of Phnom Penh are Lexus SUVs, different generations of GX470 or RX Series… Except that Lexus doesn’t officially sell in Cambodia…
That’s because these luxury SUV’s are privately imported from the Middle-East or the USA, sometimes even keeping their original registration tags…
Other popular cars in Cambodia are the Honda CR-V
and Mitsubishi L200
This estimation is based on the observation of the streets of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh through recent You Tube videos. For more information on the Cambodian car market you can go here. If you have official sales data for Cambodia by model please ensure you comment on this post!
Figures are sourced from the Cambodia Ministry of Commerce.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.