We continue on our exploration of Central Asian markets: after Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan we find ourselves in Turkmenistan. And judging by the most recent videos of the streets of the capital Ashgabat, one thing is almost 100% sure: the Toyota Camry has dominated the Turkmen sales charts since the country became independent in 1991. Various generations of the model (including the current one) flood the streets, they are even way more Camrys than Lada Zhigulis, the last testament of the country’s appartenance to the USSR.
But Toyota’s domination of the Turkmen streets doesn’t stop with the Camry: there is a long list of successful models that can be noticed very frequently in Ashgabat. Firstly, the Lexus RX. It may not be #2 in the new car sales charts, but there is an unbelievably high number of all 3 generations of the model everywhere in the capital city. If I had to bet, I would choose the Toyota Prado and the Hyundai ix35, most likely the best-selling non-Toyota in Turkmenistan, to rank within the models podium in 2013.
Apart from the expected Corolla, Land Cruiser and Hiace, popular Toyotas in Turkmenistan surprisingly also include the Avalon (all 4 generations since 1995!, Sienna and Venza. Looks like Turkmen consumers have a very American taste when it come to purchasing cars…
Opel Vectra in Turkmenistan. Picture by FarewellFire, all rights reserved.
Notice also a strikingly high amount of Hyundai Sonata (especially the current generation), Infiniti FX, GAZ Gazelle (which could be the best-selling LCV in the country), Nissan Tiida and Kia Sorento.
Lada Zhiguli. Picture by Lachlan Towart, all rights reserved.
Other Turkmen specificities include an 1991 or 1998 Opel Astra station wagon literally at every street corner, lots of Opel Vectras and the Hyundai HR, Elantra, Accent, Nissan Patrol, Pathfinder and Toyota Hilux also strong. As far as Chinese models are concerned, I noticed two Great Wall Hover in about 20 minutes of video.
Ashgabat street videos and more pictures below.