Senegal: Toyota Hilux favourite, Peugeot losing grip
Peugeot 504 Station Wagon in the background. Picture by Liki Fumei, all rights reserved.
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In 2011, 7,350 new cars were imported into Senegal, making it the biggest market in Western Africa. 585 of these were then re-exported in the region. However the Senegalese new car market is a little wobbly right now, weakened by a new law from just-elected president Macky Sall allowing the imported of used cars up to 8 years old (it used to be 5). Some distributors believe that this new measure will affect low-end brands like Chery and Great Wall more than the rest.
A very important element influencing the structure of the Senegalese car market is the fact that banks are reluctant to lend money to private buyers. As a result, 58% of all new cars are sold to companies vs. 27% to private buyers and 15% to administrations.
The Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200 should top the models ranking in Senegal based on the observation of recent YouTube videos of the streets of the country. The strong influence Peugeot had over the years is still striking in the Senegalese car landscape with a flood of 504 and 505 station wagons and pick-ups, 405, 205, 206 and 406 all over the streets... However it seems to have come to an end with the stop of the Peugeot 504 assembly in Nigeria in 2005 after 30 years of activity and the Peugeot 308 is the only recent model to seem to have had relative success.
Peugeot is conscious of the situation and says it is refocusing its energy on Sub-Saharian Africa in 2012 after its success in Nothern Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) over the last couple of years. Peugeot still means robustness for the consumers of the region but their current models don't fit the demand for pick-ups, 4WDs and minibuses. Only a range created with Africa in mind could prevent the inevitable decline of the brand in the region. In the meantime, Peugeot has released the 408 and 508 and could count on the low-cost 301 to grow again in Senegal...
Peugeot 505 in the background. Picture by Alexandre Foulon, all rights reserved.
Peugeot 504. Picture by Bnctony, all rights reserved.
Other successful models in Senegal are the Dacia Logan, Toyota Prado, Ford Ranger, as well as the Iran Khodro Samand a favourite among taxi drivers, while Great Wall seems to have also made some inroads with the Hover as has Chery with the QQ.
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