Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Lions, Elephants and Toyotas Own Botswana's Roads

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

After Norway, Haiti, Mongolia and Israel, we are off to a safari in Botswana, so I can share with you which cars complete with lions and elephants to be king of the savannah…

If you’re of the view that wild animals belong to the zoo or you just couldn’t care less about yet another Toyota-dominated country (fair enough!), that’s ok I have been thinking of you and have prepared info about car sales in 155 additional countries that you can explore in my blog so click away!

Yes I said it, Toyota (and lions) own Botswana’s streets…but what models exactly are the savannah’s favorites?

The most recent figures available for Botswana date back to 2007: Toyota held no less than 40 percent of a very small market with 1,958 sales, ahead of Nissan at 8 percent share, VW at 5 percent, Mazda (4 percent), Mitsubishi (3 percent) and… Mercedes! (3 percent also)

best selling cars around the globe lions elephants and toyotas own botswana s roads

I have been lucky enough to travel to Botswana myself so what I will share with you this week is the result of my observations in the country in 2007. It showed two cars clearly dominating the sales: in town the Toyota Corolla is king…

…and the savannah is the kingdom of lions, elephants and the Toyota Hilux.

All generations of the two models are represented, but with the Botswana economy doing relatively well for the region, there is a non-negligible amount of new cars in the streets. Especially compared with neighboring countries like Zimbabwe…

Pick-ups are very popular in Botswana, and apart from the Toyota Hilux, the Isuzu KB (aka D-Max) is likely to rank 3rd in the overall models line-up.

The Opel Corsa cabbie is possibly

…and the Nissan Hardbody (aka Frontier) a likely #5 in the ranking. Further down, the Toyota Camry could come in at making it the second best-selling passenger car.

However, the main event in the Botswana car scene in 2007 was the arrival of the new generation Toyota Land Cruiser 70, traditionally a hit with safari tours, glimpsed in the streets of Kasane (see picture above).

This estimated ranking is the result of my observations in Kasane, Botswana and its surroundings during my trip to Southern Africa in 2007. Please get in touch if you have more recent official sales data for Botswana.

2007 figures sourced in

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

Join the conversation
  • Philosophil Philosophil on Aug 21, 2011

    Some people will likely blame the elephant in that video, but not only was the vehicle likely encroaching on the elephant's territory (which few would likely concede since we seem to believe that only humans have a right to territory), but the driver was goading it by revving the engine. I wonder if that was a Toyota as well. Do they sell the FJ Cruiser there as well, or is that considered too much of a North American 'recreational' off-road vehicle? (I almost bought one recently. Great little truck.)

    • See 1 previous
    • Philosophil Philosophil on Aug 21, 2011

      @ihatetrees Yeah, that's the kind of reply I was expecting. I am aware of the theoretical difference between territory as a legal/political notion, and as a biological, ecological, ontological, or moral notion. All I will say is that I have yet to see a convincing argument that shows that the former must always trump the latter.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Aug 21, 2011

    Yep, I was rooting for the elephant in that video. What's the matter with us stupid humans that we can't read such obvious body language and then just mind our own business? No, we have to rev the engine and be cruel. Saw a Discovery Channel clip some weeks ago about these two guys who were regularly going to visit and feed a moray eel. They would feed her hot dogs. Then one day, she gets hold of one of the guy's thumb. Now the moray eel has a second jaw inside its throat. While the moray's mouth holds its prey with the outer jaw, this secondary, interior jaw slides forward, clamps on whatever part of the prey is inside the mouth, and then while the outer jaw continues to hold the prey, that secondary jaw pulls back. This rip-and-tear is how the moray breaks its food down to chunks small enough to swallow. No thumb. The guys were shocked by this. "We never had any trouble from her before!" WTF, you're feeding her hot dogs. Thumb-shaped food! And you're surprised when she eats a real thumb? Lucky for you she didn't find any other thumb-shaped protuberances on your miserable body! Stupid people make me lose patience with my fellow humans. That pisses me off and puts me in a surly mood for the rest of the day. Sorry for the divergence. Maybe I'll cool off and go back later to read the article.

  • Lou_BC Lightning Flash? Seriously? I'm shocked. This will generate much static from the usual suspects. Some will get a charge from it. Others a discharge.Resistance is futile? Gotta chant to calm down: Ohmmm Ohmmm Ohmmm
  • Lou_BC "Barra accused the UAW of having no real intent of making a deal with the industry" Seriously? I guess it's so obvious. They just want to sit around basking in your hotness ;)
  • TheEndlessEnigma Where's the Tassos rant?!
  • Urlik The best way to crush F1 politics is to be good. Looking at you Red Bull.
  • Art_Vandelay Good. As an Alfa fan it will be good to have someone on the grid they might actually be capable of beating!