By on May 28, 2011

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.




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3 Comments on “Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Syria Is A Korean Carbecue!...”

  • avatar

    I hope that Toyota provides mobile crew-served weapons platforms!!!

    How will Syria defend itself from potential invaders employing their Toyota trucks with an assortment of death-dealing weaponry?

    Think of the children!!!!!

  • avatar

    So how did the Koreans become so popular in Syria? Where are the Americans, French, Germans and Japanese? Is it due to trade sanctions?

  • avatar

    Trade Sanctions limit a lot of the cars that come into Syria. I’m no expert on the Syrian Market, but since a lot of their cars make it onto Lebanese Territory, i can easily say that Korea is doing well, and Matt has got it right with the Elantra and Cerato.

    The Sonata and Tuscon also do very well there and so does the RIO. but there are also a lot of Chinese cars that make it through to Lebanon with Syrian plates, Brilliance and Cherry seem to be well positioned there.

    GM made a move for it on the Korean built models because those bypass the previous sanctions, though i’m not sure what happens now for the Americans.

    in the past Syria had a 300% import tax on cars, now it’s much much less but it’s been supplemented with a heavy Luxury tax, and a car is a luxurious car to have. but the Syrians have plenty of money on average, i guess that comes with a state that is self sufficient on most commodities and doesn’t import much other than cars.

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