This is the final Mongolian post in our Trans-Siberian Series, exploring a very unique and surprising list of the best-selling models in the country. Next stop will be China! But first, a slice of modern Mongolian culture for you. As you will see below the Mercedes G-Class is at world-best levels in the Mongolian sales charts and has reached cult-level in the country. Proof: above is the music video for Mongolian R’n’b artist Tselmuun’s latest hit “Setgel”. From 2min49 in the video you can see a line of Mercedes G-Class behind the dancers, not one but 4 of them – so hot right now…
After chasing, following up and chasing again many actors of the Mongolian automotive industry, here it is in all its glory thanks to Toyota’s distributor in the country Khet Motors: the official Top 12 best-selling new cars in Mongolia over the first half of 2013. Yep that’s the most recent official data available for this country, but better this than nothing!
These 12 models added up to 1,568 sales over the Full Year 2012 and 913 over the first half of 2013, which can be extrapolated as approximately 40% increase of the overall Mongolian new car market year-on-year… Talk about explosive growth.
Observation in the streets of Ulaanbaatar didn’t lie: the Toyota Land Cruiser is well and truly king around here, selling 501 units over the Full Year 2012 and 375 so far in 2013. It’s hard to estimate the Land Cruiser’s overall market share but it should definitely be north of 20%. Kia Mongolia tells me a special order from the Ulaanbaatar police has pushed the Kia Rio up to 2nd place so far in 2013 with 97 sales, and this makes sense as I did not see any ‘private’ Rios the entire time I stayed there.
#2 in 2012, the Lexus LX570 is pushed down to a still incredible third position in 2013 so far thanks to 88 units sold above the Hyundai Tucson at 54 sales. But the most characteristic and unique element of the Mongolian new car market is found in 5th position: the Mercedes G-Class reaches its world-best ranking here thanks to 51 units sold and up from #7 in 2012! The G-Class is simply adored by Mongolian consumers and has reached cult-status, being included in numerous local music (Mongol pop or rap) videos.
It is a very interesting models ranking indeed for Mongolia, with many other high-end models ranking inside the Top 12 like the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado at #6, Hyundai Sonata at #7, Toyota Land Cruiser 70 at #9, Ford Everest at #10 and Range Rover at #11! This is typical of very ‘young’ new car markets where only the wealthiest have the money to afford to buy a new vehicle, and therefore go all out when they do. Given the very large majority of the Mongolian population can only afford to buy used Japanese imports, the Mongolian new car sales charts end up looking like they belong to a petrol-rich Middle-Eastern country…
Mongolia 6 months 2013 – best-selling models:
H1: First Half, FY: Full Year
|Pos||Model||2013 H1||2012 FY||Pos|
|1||Toyota Land Cruiser 200||375||501||1|
|6||Toyota Land Cruiser Prado||48||89||6|
|9||Toyota Land Cruiser 70||37||139||3|
|12||Hyundai Santa Fe||21||n/a||n/a|
|Nissan Patrol Y62||n/a||47||11|
Source: Khet Motors
Matt Gasnier is based in Sydney, Australia, and runs a blog called Best Selling Cars Blog, dedicated to counting cars around the world.