Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: The Africa Project

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

After sharing with you a couple of world updates ( Top 150 best-selling models in June 2012 and our monthly World Roundup for July 2012), its is with a solemn tone that I announce to you that today is a special day.

Today I am launching the Africa Project, to try and bring African countries to a similar level of data and car sales information as the rest of the world.

If you live in Africa or have data on any African country please be sure to comment on this post and I will get in touch with you directly.

Africa not your thing? All good. You can visit 121 additional countries and territories in my blog, one by one, in the comfort of your own lounge. Travelling the world doesnt get any cheaper than that!Back to Africa. There are only 2 countries (out of about 50!) that report models sales data monthly. This is where you come in…

Picture by Leonid Plotkin, all rights reserved.

In terms of new car sales, Africa is the last frontier, with only a few countries having set up regular reports. However, no less than 1.4 million cars were sold on the African continent in 2011, and even though it is still plagued with war and poverty in some parts, it is now developing fast. The African Bank of Development predicts 4.5 percent economic growth for the region in 2012 and 4.8 percent in 2013, with peaks at 6.9 percent in Western Africa and 5.6 percent in the East.

There is a revitalised interest towards Africa in France right now.

Indeed, one of the things I noticed during my stay in France over the last couple of weeks is the revitalised interest, focus and introspection towards the African continent, with which France has long running cultural and economical links. French rap band Sexion d’Assaut recently released the song ‘African’ (the video clip shot in Senegalese streets is above), a harsh, realistic and at times humorous view on how Africans are perceived in France and abroad.

In the car world, this renewed interest translates into statements like Peugeot’s, refocusing its energy on sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 to build on their amazing success in Northern Africa and notably Algeria.

On top of French marques getting more active, Japanese brands like Toyota, Nissan or Honda have had decades of strong sales in the region, and lately Chinese manufacturers have landed en masse. This makes Africa a fascinating continent to follow, and this is why I want to make it a special focus in my search for worldwide car sales data.

The Dacia Lodgy is assembled in Tangier, Morocco.

Problem is, new car sales reporting is still quite disorganised and I only have data for a few countries. South Africa, where the Toyota Hilux and VW Polo Vivo (a facelifted previous generation Polo) are the most popular, and by far the biggest African car market at 570,000 sales in 2011, is one. But Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes don’t report model data…

Egypt, #3 market in the continent at 176,000 registrations last year, where the Hyundai Verna, an Accent from two generations ago, commands 10 percent+ market share is the only other country I am able to cover monthly. Algeria, #2 with close to 300,000 registrations last year and with the Renault Symbol (a previous generation Clio with a boot) in pole position, used to belong to that group, but my monthly source dried up.

In fact, with Morocco, producing the Dacia Lodgy since last February, and Ethiopia, thanks to local car company Holland Car assembling Lifan models in the country, the above countries are the only ones in Africa to assemble cars, now that production of the Peugeot 504 stopped in Nigeria. But still quite a lot of holes in the data published by these countries.

So this is where you come in dear readers.

Thanks to your help, there are already a few more African countries with sales information on my site Best Selling Cars Blog, like Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal and Sudan. No models data for any of these countries however and therefore still a lot of unknowns…

Picture by turkairo, all rights reserved.

If you work in the car industry anywhere in Africa, within organisations that would have the potential to bring together some car sales data, or if you just happen to have sales info, please do get in touch by commenting on this post. I would like to build reliable sales data for as many African countries as possible so everyone can have a better understanding of this fascinating and fast evolving market.

Picture by hn, all rights reserved.

I may have the possibility to travel to these regions in the future to report about them myself, but for now my own experience of Africa is very limited. I travelled to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in 2007 – you can see my photo albums by clicking on the country, and to Egypt in 2008, where I was stunned to see the amount of Speranza (rebadged Chery assembled locally) in the streets and around the pyramids…

So I’m counting on you all to improve the coverage on Africa! Many thanks in advance for all your help!

Below you will find direct links to various articles about car sales in 47 African countries.

Please note that for most of them, the information and estimations displayed in the articles is the result of observation of YouTube videos of the streets of theses cities and does not constitutes official data. (Because I need you to fill the blanks!)

Algeria 6 months 2012: Peugeot up 96% in market up 49%

Angola: Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200 could top a dynamic market

Benin: Toyota Prado and Hilux dominate

Botswana: Toyota Corolla and Hilux should be in the lead

Burkina Faso: Toyota Hilux master of the roads

Burundi: Toyota Corolla leader

Cameroon: Toyota Hilux possibly on top

Central African Republic: Toyota Hilux should lead sales

Chad: Toyota Hilux and Corolla most popular new cars

Congo (Dem Rep): Toyota Hilux and Prado strong sellers

Congo (Rep of the): Toyota Hilux should be on top

Cote d’Ivoire 2010: A fast evolving market

Egypt May 2012: Chevrolet TFR up to 10.9% share

Eritrea: Toyota Hilux likely leader, Kia Rio taxi of choice

Ethiopia: Hilux and Corolla favourites, Holland Car gets noticed

Gabon 2009: Toyota Hilux should be clear leader

Gambia: Mitsubishi L200 likely leader

Ghana: Mitsubishi Pajero very popular

Guinea: Toyota Prado possible leader, Renault 19 rules the streets

Guinea Bissau: Information needed

Kenya: Toyota Corolla a long-time favourite

Lesotho: Toyota Hilux and VW Polo Vivo should lead

Liberia: Toyota Hilux leader, Nissan rules the streets

Libya: Chevrolet Optra possible leader

Madagascar Q2 2010: JAC Tojoy among best-sellers

Malawi: Toyota Hilux leads the way

Mali: Toyota Hilux dominates, old Mercedes come here to die…

Mauritania: (Also) where old Mercedes go to die…

Mauritius January 2012: Hyundai i10 up to #2

Morocco January 2012: Renault Kangoo ahead of 3 Dacias

Mozambique: Toyota Hilux potentially in the lead

Namibia 2012: Toyota and Volkswagen hold 52% of the market

Niger: Toyota king, Corolla should rule

Nigeria 6 months 2012: Toyota grabs 35% of recovering market

Rwanda: Toyota Corolla the car of choice

Senegal: Toyota Hilux favourite, Peugeot losing grip

Sierra Leone: Ford Ranger potential leader

Somalia: Toyota Land Cruiser possible leader in limited market

South Africa May 2012: Toyota Etios lands directly at

Sudan: Toyota Hilux ahead of an armada of Hyundais

Swaziland: Toyota Hilux and VW Polo Vivo should lead

Tanzania: Toyota Corolla real king

Togo: Toyota Prado possible leader

Tunisia 9 months 2010: Renault Symbol clear leader

Uganda: Toyota Corolla should lead the way

Zambia: Toyota king

Zimbabwe: Toyota Corolla sovereign, info needed

Source: Manufacturers, usual sources for countries updated monthly, YouTube.

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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2 of 4 comments
  • Acuraandy Acuraandy on Sep 03, 2012

    I once had a '94 USDM Acura Integra I sold to a coworker. He smashed it up in a near-DUI after repainting it. It was then shipped to Liberia and fixed. It now roams the streets of Monrovia, Liberia. The End. lol

  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Sep 03, 2012

    Somewhat dated Hilux is 13th, the F150 7th. Will be interesting to see how the new model Hilux goes when it is released.

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.