Best Selling Cars Around The Globe – Trans Siberian Series Part 16: The Best-selling Cars in Mongolia

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier

This is the final Mongolian post in our Trans-Siberian Series, exploring a very unique and surprising list of the best-selling models in the country. Next stop will be China! But first, a slice of modern Mongolian culture for you. As you will see below the Mercedes G-Class is at world-best levels in the Mongolian sales charts and has reached cult-level in the country. Proof: above is the music video for Mongolian R’n’b artist Tselmuun’s latest hit “Setgel”. From 2min49 in the video you can see a line of Mercedes G-Class behind the dancers, not one but 4 of them – so hot right now…

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here, or check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

The Toyota Land Cruiser is by far the most popular new car in Mongolia.

After chasing, following up and chasing again many actors of the Mongolian automotive industry, here it is in all its glory thanks to Toyota’s distributor in the country Khet Motors: the official Top 12 best-selling new cars in Mongolia over the first half of 2013. Yep that’s the most recent official data available for this country, but better this than nothing!

Police orders have pushed the Kia Rio up to #2 so far in 2013.

These 12 models added up to 1,568 sales over the Full Year 2012 and 913 over the first half of 2013, which can be extrapolated as approximately 40% increase of the overall Mongolian new car market year-on-year… Talk about explosive growth.

The Lexus LX rounds up the 2013 year-to-date Mongolian podium.

Observation in the streets of Ulaanbaatar didn’t lie: the Toyota Land Cruiser is well and truly king around here, selling 501 units over the Full Year 2012 and 375 so far in 2013. It’s hard to estimate the Land Cruiser’s overall market share but it should definitely be north of 20%. Kia Mongolia tells me a special order from the Ulaanbaatar police has pushed the Kia Rio up to 2nd place so far in 2013 with 97 sales, and this makes sense as I did not see any ‘private’ Rios the entire time I stayed there.

The Mercedes G-Class ranks at a world-best #5 in Mongolia!

#2 in 2012, the Lexus LX570 is pushed down to a still incredible third position in 2013 so far thanks to 88 units sold above the Hyundai Tucson at 54 sales. But the most characteristic and unique element of the Mongolian new car market is found in 5th position: the Mercedes G-Class reaches its world-best ranking here thanks to 51 units sold and up from #7 in 2012! The G-Class is simply adored by Mongolian consumers and has reached cult-status, being included in numerous local music (Mongol pop or rap) videos.

The Range Rover is the #11 most popular model in Mongolia so far in 2013!

It is a very interesting models ranking indeed for Mongolia, with many other high-end models ranking inside the Top 12 like the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado at Hyundai Sonata at Toyota Land Cruiser 70 at Ford Everest at #10 and Range Rover at This is typical of very ‘young’ new car markets where only the wealthiest have the money to afford to buy a new vehicle, and therefore go all out when they do. Given the very large majority of the Mongolian population can only afford to buy used Japanese imports, the Mongolian new car sales charts end up looking like they belong to a petrol-rich Middle-Eastern country…

Mongolia 6 months 2013 – best-selling models:

H1: First Half, FY: Full Year

PosModel2013 H12012 FYPos1Toyota Land Cruiser 20037550112Kia Rio97n/an/a3Lexus LX5708825824Hyundai Tucson5411755Mercedes G-Class517976Toyota Land Cruiser Prado488967Hyundai Sonata4611948Kia Sportage44n/an/a9Toyota Land Cruiser 7037139310Ford Everest27n/an/a11Range Rover25471112Hyundai Santa Fe21n/an/aNissan Patroln/a628Hyundai Accentn/a628Hyundai Elantran/a4810Nissan Patrol Y62n/a4711

Source: Khet Motors

Hyundai Tucson
Toyota Prado
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Sportage
Toyota Land Cruiser 70
Hyundai Santa Fe
I was very surprised to spot a Ford Territory imported straight from Australia!
Hyundai Accent
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Venza
Hyundai Azera
VW Amarok
Ford Explorer
Lexus RX
Toyota Hilux Surf
Chevrolet Aveo
Hyundai Elantra
Matt Gasnier
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  • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Jun 26, 2014

    If I were a "big 3" executive or even a German auto emperor reading this, I'd hurry up to get my high-margin 4x4 product line to Mongolia asap. Mongolia is a growing market, and en route to do so for quite some time. Now is the opportunity to define what is desirable, and it seems that Japanese fare is doing best. Apart from the G, that is - one ancient German taking over for ancient Ukrainians...

  • Fred Fred on Jun 28, 2014

    Brown is a nice color for the Venza

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.