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Iraq June 2013: Now available with brand new Photo Album!

July 6th, 2013 6 comments

Hyundai Sonata Iraq June 2013Iraq street scene, June 2013. Picture courtesy of Khaled Farhad (click to enlarge).

* See the Full Photo Album by clicking on the title! *

A few month ago, Jerome shared some very interesting pictures of the streets of Erbil in Iraq, which showed that the Toyota Hilux, Kia Cerato and Hyundai Sonata, Elantra, Accent and Tucson could be dominating the Iraqi sales charts. Today I can share with you a little more detail about the Iraqi car market, thanks to Khaled Farhad who was kind enough to share his Photo Album from his recent trip to the Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq, and more specifically in the cities of Erbil (once again!), Duhok and Amediye.

Toyota HIlux Iraq June 2013Toyota Hilux in Iraq, June 2013. Picture courtesy of Khaled Farhad (click to enlarge).

Khaled confirmed the new car market in Northern Iraq is literally booming (confirming the statements in my previous article “Iraq is one of the Top 10 emerging engines of growth“, with Toyota, Hyundai and Kia dominating sales, but Mercedes and BMW getting more and more popular. Another confirmation looking at these pictures is that the Iraqi market is definitely going in the same direction as neighbours Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is not surprising given their proximity and cultural similarities.

Hyundai Elantra Accent Iraq June 2013Iraq street scene, June 2013. Picture courtesy of Khaled Farhad.

In particular, SUVs are the most popular segment ahead of sedans, and the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser is extremely frequent in the streets of Northern Iraq, in its latest version thank you very much. It will come as no surprise then to notice many Range Rovers and Land Rovers, as well as American SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Jeep Grand Cherokee…

Previous post: Iraq 2012: Toyota Hilux and Kia Cerato dominate

See also: Iraq is one of the Top 10 emerging global engines of growth

Full Photo Album below.

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Categories: Iraq

Iraq 2012: Toyota Hilux and Kia Cerato dominate

March 15th, 2013 2 comments

Toyota Hilux Iraq 2012Toyota Hilux

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

Thanks to Jerome who recently visited Erbil in Iraq and was kind enough to share his pictures to be published on BestSellingCarsBlog, I can share with you more detail about the Iraqi new car market for 2012. Granted, Erbil is quite a specific region in the country that has enjoyed significant growth recently, with most of the car park being under 7 years old, and it may not reflect the reality of Iraq as a whole but it is as good a starting point into a more detailed view of the Iraqi car market as anything.

Erbil Iraq street March 2013bStreet scene in Erbil, Iraq, March 2013. Picture courtesy of Jerome R. (Click to enlarge)

Two models stand out from the crowd based on Jerome’s pictures and a techno-fuelled video of the streets of Erbil (available by clicking on ‘Read more’ before the jump): the Toyota Hilux and Kia Cerato. In fact, it would appear that the most popular models in Iraq are becoming very similar to other countries in the region such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Erbil Iraq street March 2013cStreet scene in Erbil, Iraq, March 2013. Picture courtesy of Jerome R. (Click to enlarge)

We can also notice a lot of Toyota Land Cruiser and its luxury version the Lexus LX570, Toyota Corolla and Camry but mostly as taxis. The new generation Kia Sportage also appears at every street corner, with the Nissan D22 pick-up, Kia Frontier, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio very popular…

Erbil Iraq street March 2013aStreet scene in Erbil, Iraq, March 2013. Picture courtesy of Jerome R.

… as well as the new generations Hyundai Sonata, Elantra, Accent and Tucson. Expect the new Hyundai Santa Fe to start with a bang in 2013 given the amount of old gen models present on the streets. A few Nissan Tiida and Ford Expedition also make themselves noticed.

More street pictures and street video below.

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Categories: Iraq

Iraq is one of the Top 10 ‘Emerging engines of growth’

November 9th, 2012 7 comments

“Obama” aka Dodge Charger

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

Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend a Webinar from Business Monitor International about the Top 10 Emerging engines of growth in the Automotive industry, so I will write a few articles about these markets over the next few days. First of them is Iraq. My last article about this country was talking about General Motors’s #1 position there in 2011, up 68% year-on-year to 32,000 of the total 90,000 estimated new vehicle sales in Iraq. There is now more information available about new car sales in Iraq in 2012.

Iran Khodro Samand

Iraq Business News says ‘rising incomes and safer streets are fueling demand for new cars such as Chrysler‘s Dodge Charger, nicknamed “Obama” after the U.S. president by Iraqis. Another car popular among Iraqis is the Iran Khodro Samand, manufactured locally. Business Monitor International says 30,000 Samand will come out of the IKCO Iraqi factory in 2012!

Could Saipa be assembling the Tiba in Iraq soon?

For its part Saipa, Iran’s other car manufacture with IKCO, has announced in March this year it is investing in a local assembly plant with an annual capacity of 120,000 vehicles! With a population of more than 30 million people and a growing economy, Iraq’s auto market has “huge potential,” said Stefan Mecha, VW’s managing director for the Middle East. Predictions for new cars sales in Iraq in the Full Year 2012 stand at 120,000 vehicles, a good 33% above 2011 sales. And demand could get much bigger over the next few years.

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Categories: Iraq

Iraq 2012: General Motors and Kia in great shape

May 19th, 2012 No comments

Chevrolet Sonic

* See the link to a more detailed article by clicking on the title! *

Thanks to Achtung we now have access to more information about the Iraqi car market. New cars demand is soaring in the country as salaries are on the up and the violence is down. General Motors and Kia in particular are reporting big sales increases. GM sold 32,000 vehicles in the country in 2011, up 68% on 2010 and a huge 2033% on 2006, making Iraq GM’s second biggest market in the area behind Saudi Arabia.

Kia Rio

A look at Chevrolet’s Iraqi range shows that no less than 18 models are on sale in the country, including the all-new Sonic and Malibu… For its part Kia sold 9,000 cars over the first 3 months of 2012, up 47% year-on-year. Kia’s Iraqi range is complete with the all-new Picanto, Rio and Optima.

A bizarre black market for license plates has formed in the country, resulting in situations where on top of the price of the car, $5,000 are necessary to secure an existing license plate to pose on the car, as new license plates are unregulated and only rarely released by the government. A market regulation is needed in the country to fully harness the growing demand for new cars. A fascinating market that I will endeavour to find more information about over the coming months…

Link to the original Daily Star Lebanon article below.

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Categories: Iraq

Iraq: Hilux, Accent and Great Wall Deer in the lead?

March 23rd, 2012 9 comments

Great Wall Sailor and Toyota Hilux

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Next country in line to be put under the spotlight: Iraq! The Iraqi car market is a pretty difficult one to approach, with not much recent YouTube video material to draw upon and no clear and apparent winner in the sales. So I will venture a very rough speculation, that would see the Toyota Hilux, Hyundai Accent and Great Wall Deer (an old gen Hilux) dominate the new vehicle sales rankings.

Great Wall Deer

The Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Aveo, 2005 Hyundai Sonata (probably imported from Egypt), Toyota Camry, Nissan Sunny and Great Wall Sailor (an old gen Nissan Frontier) are also strong in Iraq. The Chinese brand Great Wall is indeed making some great inroads in the country. Interestingly, the Iranian-built Iran Khodro Samand and Peugeot 405 also seem to have some success.

Hyundai Accent

It’s also worth mentioning that the Iraqi market got flooded by European second-hand imports when import laws were relaxed, the result being 90’s Opel Astras, Vectras, and Omegas swarming the streets of Baghdad and the biggest Iraqi cities.

See more street scenes below.

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Categories: Iraq