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Albania 2017: VW Golf should lead, Mercedes dominates landscape

The Albanian Police has purchased a fleet of VW e-Golf in October 2016.

Still no official data for the Albanian new car market, only estimated total sales up to 2016 published in November 2017 that show exponential growth from 2006 (800 sales) to 2012 (2.300) but a stable trend since 2014 at 2.500 units (see below). Figures obtained with the Renault Group contract this level and estimate the Albanian new car and LCV market at 1.600 units in 2017 vs. 1.300 in 2016.

New car sales in Albania (estimate) 2005-2016 

Based on thorough observation of recent street videos of the main cities of the country, our estimate that the VW Golf should be the best-selling new car in Albania still stands. The Albanian Police even purchased a fleet of e-Golf in October 2016 even though the country does not have a single charging station…. Other popular nameplates include the new generation Hyundai Elantra (as a taxi in the capital Tirana), the VW Caddy, Smart Fortwo, Ford Focus, Fiesta, Citroen C3, Fiat Punto, Skoda Fabia, VW Passat and BMW X5. The Renault Captur and Dacia Sandero also seem to have received a warm welcome.

But the main attraction of the Albanian car landscape remains the extremely high occurrence of used Mercedes sedans, said to be accounting for an astonishing 3 in 5 vehicles in circulation in Tirana. The most popular nameplates are the 200/300 and E-Class, but the 190 and its descendant the C-Class are also strong. The reason behind this popularity: the toughness of Mercedes sedans allowing them to withstand even the roughest countryside tracks the country has to offer. Albania has actually become famous worldwide for its love of all things Mercedes, so much so that Mercedes itself chose the country as the location for one of its adverts for the GLE SUV.

Picture Vincent LerouxPicture Jalopnik Mercedes GLE on official trip to Albania

Previous post: Albania 2012: VW Golf and Opel Astra on top?

Albania 2012: VW Golf and Opel Astra on top?

2013 VW Golf Albania 20122013 VW Golf: the favourite of Albanian consumers?

* See the entire article by clicking on the title! *

We stay in the Balkan area to go to Albania, which I have left alone for almost two years simply because official sales data is inexistent. With the knowledge of the best-selling models in the region (Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia) and after visualising a few more recent street videos of capital city Tirana I will venture a new estimate of the most popular vehicles in the country for 2012.

Opel Astra Albania 2012Chances are the Opel Astra (including the previous gen still on sale) is close to the top in Albania.

Last time I did this exercise with the help of Matthias from Germany, I estimated the Range Rover topped the models ranking in Albania in 2010-2011. Although I still see it rank very high, even in such a small market as Albania it is probably not realistic to expect it to rank #1. Taking the cue from Macedonia and based on all generations of the models being visible in the streets of Tirana, I would say that the VW Golf and Opel Astra could lead the way in 2012, with other successful models being the Opel Corsa, Ford Fiesta, Audi A3, VW Caddy, Skoda Fabia and Fiat Panda.

Tirana Street SceneTirana street. Picture by MrSco, all rights reserved.

One particularity of the Albanian car landscape is the extremely high occurrence of Mercedes 200/300 and E-Class. I haven’t included them in the most popular new models as most seem to have come to the country as second-hand cars from Germany most probably. Still, it makes travelling within the bustling streets of Tirana a striking experience…

Previous post: Albania 2011: The land of luxury SUVs

Full article including video below.

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Albania 2011 UPDATED: The land of luxury SUVs

Range Rover

* Click on the title for Albanian street scenes! *

* Many thanks to Matthias from Germany who made this post’s update possible! *

The Albanian car market is very particular, with as much as 1 in every 3 cars in circulation in Tirana and Durres second-hand Mercedes. The best selling new cars are also unique: a mix of luxury SUV’s dominated by the Range Rover, BMW X5, Mercedes M-Class, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport and Mercedes GL-Class!

Only then normal passenger cars follow, among them the Chevrolet Aveo, Fiat Punto, VW Golf and Opel Corsa. A few models have Albania as their only European port of call like the VW Gol, Chery QQ and Toyota Avanza… So a very interesting market indeed.

This rough speculation is based on Matthias’s observations in the streets of Tirana and Durres. Thanks again Matthias!

Click on ‘Read more’ below for some very informative street scenes.

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