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Cuba: Lada, Hyundai, Geely & vintage Americans dominate

Vintage American car in Cuba. Picture by Walter Lo Cascio. All rights reserved.

The Cuban car market structure is a fascinating testimony of the country's last 60 years history. Its famous 1950's American cars (60,000 are still in circulation), relics of the pre-revolutionary period, are now outnumbered by over 100,000 Ladas, the most visible legacy of the country's Cold War alliance with the Soviet Union.

Lada in Cuba. Picture by Tom Eversley. All rights reserved.

More recently, Hyundai seems to have reaped the title of best-selling brand in Cuba, with the Hyundai Accent the probable Cuban best-seller, and the i10 and Santro also doing very well, especially with rental car companies

Hyundai Accent, possibly 2010 Cuban best-selling car, thanks to popularity with rental companies.

Lastly in 2009, government and police have started replacing their Ladas with Geely CK's, symbolizing Cuba's recent closer ties with China, with as much as 1,500 units imported in H1 '09.

More commentaries, striking street scene pictures and informative street videos are below, click on 'read more' just below the Geely CK picture.

Police Geely CK, La Habana, Cuba 2009

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Categories: Cuba
  1. Walter Ty
    March 7th, 2013 at 20:15 | #1

    During the 1970’s, the previous Argentinian government of Isabel Peron (Juan Peron’s second wife & widow) authorised the export of Argentinian-built Ford Falcons, Chevrolet 400s/Novas, & Dodge 1500s (Hillman Avengers) to Cuba in violation of the U.S. economic embargo on the Caribbean island. Argentinian-built Fiats, Renaults, Citroens, & Peugeots have also been exported to Cuba at various times, while Mexican-built Volkswagens & Nissans have been shipped to the island as well.

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