Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Haiti Hangs On To Work Horses

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

After Afghanistan and Norway, we fly over the Atlantic to land in Haiti so I can share with you where the car market is, 18 months after the devastating earthquake of February 2010.

If you were a tourist in Haiti or part of the emergency personnel flown to the island for the earthquake, then you may already know which cars are popular there (although it would have been the least of your worries!) so I suggest you go directly to my blog where I cover 154 other countries all around the planet. You will love it, I promise!

Right so the huge reconstruction effort the country has to go through means pick-ups, or work horses as they are sometimes called, are the favorite choice for anyone who has enough money to purchase a new vehicle. But which ones are the most successful?

Oh and for those who are not yet familiar with my methodology, here goes. When there is no official car sales data, as is the case for Haiti, I don’t despair. Far from it. I go and have a little chat with my old mate YouTube… It’s amazing the number of street videos of any random city people innocently upload on the internet! I focus on the most recent videos of the most important cities of any given country and after a couple of hours of research a pretty good picture of the best selling cars there starts to appear… Not perfect, but much better than nothing!

best selling cars around the globe haiti hangs on to work horses

And the result of Haiti streets observation shows that as in neighboring Dominican Republic, Haitians seem to be fond of Nissan pick-ups, with the Nissan Frontier really really popular in its last few generations.

However it seems the Ford Ranger has taken the lead over the last 12 months in Haiti, with many of them roaming the streets of Port-au-Prince. Pick-ups are a great help in these troubled time as the main work tool for any reconstruction worker.

Aside from pick-ups, another Haitian car tradition seems to be buying lots of Suzuki/Chevrolet 4WD’s. The Chevrolet Vitara and Grand Vitara, sold under the Suzuki brand outside of South America, can be seen very frequently in the streets of Port-au-Prince.

4WDs are the logical choice in a country where previously paved roads are left with little maintenance and off-roading is more a necessity than a leisurely past-time… At that game Japanese and Korean models win: the Daihatsu Terios, Mazda Bt-50, Toyota Hilux, Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi L200 all seem to do well in Haiti.

However when it comes to decorating prizes, Isuzu vans seem to be the best bet! Where else but in ever-happy Haiti…

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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  • Cronk Cronk on Jul 30, 2011

    Around the Petionville camp, when I was there 6 weeks after the quake far and away the most common were diesel Toyota pickups and other Hilux variants. The tap taps (the colorful things) that clogged the street seemed to be mainly Toyota pickups with welded cages in the bed. The larger ones were primarily Isuzu vans. I can tell you from experience that the Isuzu tap taps were bloody awful to ride in. There were not all the many Fords around at that point but quite of few Mitsubishis and Mazdas. Oddly enough the Porsche dealership seemed awfully quiet.

  • Bimmer Bimmer on Jul 31, 2011

    Damn, even Haiti is getting new Ranger and Mazda BT-50! I guess Ford and Mazda takes Canada and US for developing countries, that's the only reason we're getting discontinued elsewhere ancient Ranger and its Mazda twin.

  • Norman Stansfield This is what you get when you run races to keep the cars bunched together for more excitement. F1 doesn't seem to have this problem after the first few laps.
  • SCE to AUX Too many cars = more wrecks. With today's speeds on essentially the same old track, starting with half the cars could reduce the congestion at the end. Or maybe it would increase the problem because the herd wouldn't thin early on.I say no overtime - finish at 500 miles and no more.
  • Garagezone There was an Indy 500 yesterday? Hmmmm...
  • Mark Morrison Sad it just reminded me how good TTAC once was … required daily reading.