Today I thought I would dust off a country that I have spoken about in almost 3 years: Armenia. Not for lack of interest, but simply because I can’t access any official sales data. If you live in Armenia and/or have any information about the Armenian new car market please make sure to comment on here or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org! The only information I was able to obtain for this market is Renault sales up a huge 152% year-on-year in 2012 to 341 units. Great timing, because the French carmaker actually launched the Renault Logan/Sandero combo last month in Armenia, making it one of the first countries in the world to see the new gen models with Renault branding. And I found a very nice series of Renault Sandero pictures of local car website www.auto.am (I will upload it shortly).
Here is what I could guess based on the observation of a few 2013 YouTube videos of the streets of the capital Yerevan. Firstly the striking amount of Lada 2105/2107 and 4×4 (aka Niva) still in circulation, by far the most frequent Ladas on the streets (not the Priora or 110) but most of them look rather tired so I doubt they still feature high in the ranking in 2013.
Given Armenia is still a very small new car market (so taxi sales can make or break a model’s success) and looking at the dominance of taxis in the Yerevan streets I will venture that the Daewoo Nexia should top the sales charts this year, as they seem popular both as taxis and private buyers. The Hyundai Elantra and Renault Logan should not be too far behind, with the Toyota Corolla also strong, especially with the police!
As is often the case in ex-USSR states, SUVs are also very successful here. Among them the Nissan Qashqai seems to have hit the mark with Armenian buyers, with the Toyota Highlander, Mercedes M-Class, Lexus LX, Mitsubishi Pajero, Hyundai ix35, Kia Sorento and… Porsche Cayenne also popular.
To finish painting an accurate picture of the Armenian car market I will add that the 1998 Opel Astra must have been close to the top for many years, judging as the number of them still in the streets, notice an interesting link with neighbour Iran through a (albeit decreasing compared to my last foray into Armenia) good amount of Iran Khodro Samand taxis, and the odd Mercedes S-Class and BMW X6 typical of the region.
Full Renault Sandero photo series and Yerevan Street video below.