Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Car Drought In Zimbabwe

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

Continuing our whirlwind trip around the globe, we have last stopped in Sweden, Canada, Romania and South Africa. This week I’ve decided I would be creative and take you to the last country on the alphabetical list: Zimbabwe!

If like last week in South Africa, lions, rhinos and zebras are still not your thing, well you’ve got an issue on your hands because there are still a lot of these in Zimbabwe… But hey, that’s ok, because I have prepared 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, so don’t be shy and click away!

Now Zimbabwe is in a very particular situation as far as its new car market is concerned…

…and that situation is similar to a country in war: the new car market has slowed down to a grinding halt.

And this is where I need your help: the observations below are based on my trip to Victoria Falls in 2007, and it is very difficult to understand the reality of car sales in Zimbabwe since then. Is the economy recovering? Is it not? If you have recent info, please, by all means comment on the article so we can all know a little more.

So here is what I know.

Outside South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria and a few others, the new car market in African countries is shy at best. So when Zimbabwe’s economy imploded, what was already a very limited market became close to inexistant.

Based on my observations in the country, the Toyota Corolla is and has been the best-selling model in Zimbabwe for many, many years. A plethora of various generations of the model can be seen in the streets, indicating that its leadership is at least a couple of decades in the running.

It may have been threatened in the eighties by the Datsun/Nissan Sunny as there are a lot of these as well in the streets of Victoria Falls where I stayed.

The Corolla and Sunny are by far the most popular passenger cars in Zimbabwe, with all other popular vehicles being pick-ups.

Surprisingly and contrary to the majority of African countries, the Toyota Hilux is not tremendously popular in Zimbabwe. Instead, the Isuzu KB can be seen at every street corner…

…while the Mazda B-Series and Nissan Hardbody also rather successful.

And ladies and gentlemen, there is not much more to the Zimbabwean new car market than this!

As I said, new car sales in Zimbabwe are a rare and disappearing occurence.


Have you been in Zimbabwe in the last few years?

Can you add to this article with inside knowledge?


Or – controversial – actual sales figures?

It is your turn to unearth the Zimbabwean golden nugget…

Over and out!

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

Join the conversation
  • Cmoibenlepro Cmoibenlepro on Dec 13, 2011

    Why did you go there??

    • SexCpotatoes SexCpotatoes on Dec 13, 2011

      He's a spy. Went there to destabilize the government. I'll be right back, there's someone at the door--

  • Szyznyk Szyznyk on Dec 13, 2011

    If a loaf of bread costs a hundred trillion Zimbabwe dollars before they switched to the US dollar, how much would a Corolla cost?

  • Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
  • Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
  • Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!
  • Jeanbaptiste Ever since y’all started sending your damn geese down here we’re just been waiting for one of you to show up.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗