Ukraine Q1 2016: Lada 4×4 shoots up to #1 in market up 58% on ’15 but down 68% on ’14 (BSCB Exclusive)

Lada 4x4 Urban Ukraine March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Lada 4×4 is the best-selling nameplate in Ukraine so far in 2016.

* See the Top 52 All-brands and Top 258 All-models by clicking on the title *

It would appear that the Ukrainian new passenger car market, brought to a standstill by the Crimean crisis, has now bottomed up. January sales are up 22% to 3.183, February up 44% and March up 117%, leading to first Quarter volumes up 58% to 12.286. Before rushing to the champagne glasses, let’s point out this result roughly corresponds to January 2014 sales (11.875) and represents a 68% drop on the same period in 2014 – see below for more detail. Toyota leads the brands ranking with 10.2% share, edging past Renault (9.8%) in March with Nissan (6.7%) and Volkswagen (5.6%) following. Russian make Lada returns to the top of the charts at #5 with 5.4% share vs. #16 over FY15 while reversely, homegrown ZAZ plunges from #3 and 6.2% share in FY15 to #13 and 3.6% in Q1 of this year.

UKR Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
2013 11,989 13,591 22,565 26,115 15,091 14,887
2014 11,875 15,215 10,964 7,754 5,675 6,209
2015 2,597 2,924 2,259 3,057 2,994 3,372
2016 3,183 4,201 4,902

Toyota RAV4 Ukraine March 2016. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comToyota is the #1 manufacturer in Ukraine and the RAV4 was #1 in January. 

The models ranking is reshuffled by what could be described as a “Back to basics” trend that potentially has its roots in military equipment. The Lada 4×4 (aka Niva) leads by just two units with 418 sales, knocking 2015’s leader, the Renault Logan, down to #2 even though it hasn’t ranked #1 in any month so far. The Toyota RAV4 led sales charts in January and the Toyota Corolla did so in February and March: they respectively rank 3rd and 4th year-to-date. It is unclear whether new car sales in Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine are accounted for in official Ukrainian statistics. Other improving nameplates include the Renault Duster up to #5, the Nissan X-Trail up to #9, Mercedes GLE up to a fantastic 11th place, Suzuki Vitara up to #12, Audi Q7 up to #19 and Hyundai Tucson up to #20.

Previous post: Ukraine Full Year 2015: Renault Logan triumphs, market down 52%

Full Q1 2016 Top 52 All-brands and Top 258 All-models below.

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Belarus Q1 2016: Renault Sandero takes charge

Renault Sandero Belarus March 2016. Picture courtesy autokatalog.byThe Renault Sandero outsells the VW Polo for the first time in Belarus. 

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New light vehicle sales in Belarus are down 7% year-on-year over the first Quarter of 2016 to 5.295 registrations. French carmaker Renault however goes against the grain with volumes up 10% to reach an outstanding 31.2% market share, more than double any other manufacturer present in the country. In 2nd place, Volkswagen drops 13% to 14.6% share while Lada is up 74% to step up to #3, knocking Nissan (-57%) down to #4. Other impressive brands include Skoda (+157%), GAZ (+72%), Mitsubishi (+564%), Volvo (+300%) and Citroen (+211%).

Nissan Tiida Belarus March 2016. Picture courtesy autobild.byThe new model pushes the Nissan Tiida into the Belorussian Top 20.

Model-wise, after three consecutive years of VW Polo domination the Renault Sandero takes charges so far in 2016 thanks to a whopping 698 sales and 13.2% market share – the Stepway variant accounting for 70.2% of the nameplate’s sales – vs. 584 and 11% for the Polo. The Renault Duster also cracks the 10% market share barrier at 564 units (10.7%) while the Logan is in freefall at #4 and 5.6% vs. 8.7% over the Full Year 2015. The Toyota RAV4 and Lada Granta both gain 9 spots vs. FY15 to land in 6th and 8th places respectively, the GAZ Next is up 7 to #12 and the Nissan Tiida up 41 to #17. Finally, we welcome the Lada Vesta at #14 with 103 sales, up to #9 in March.

Previous post: Belarus Full Year 2015: VW Polo resists Renault assault

Full Q1 2016 Top 25 brands and models below.

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Russia April 2016: Vesta & XRAY push Lada to best share in 4.5 years

Lada XRAY Russia April 2016The Lada XRAY is getting closer to the Russian Top 10. 

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The Russian market still hasn’t hit rock bottom, looking at April sales down a further 8.5% to just 121.272 with the year-to-date total now down 15% to 440.583. Both March, April and year-to-date scores are the lowest in a decade in Russia. Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee adds: “Under these circumstances, the decision of the Russian government to extend market stimulation measures is highly welcome and appropriate, intended to help the market to get through what is probably the toughest period in its recent history”. Thanks to a renewed lineup (see further down), home-grown carmaker Lada goes against the grain with an 8% year-on-year improvement to 24.648 sales and 20.3% share. After slumping to an all-time low 13% share in December 2014, this is Lada’s first time above 20% at home since February 2014 (20.2%), and its best share since October 2011 (20.5%) when it sold 49.270 units in a then much stronger market.

Ford Focus Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Focus helps Ford back up 39% this month in Russia. 

Below, both Hyundai (10.1%) and Kia (10%) fall slightly faster than the market at -11% and -13% respectively, with Renault faring better in fourth place at -5% to 8% share. Toyota manages to gain 15% to get back to the 5th position it holds year-to-date, with Skoda (+9%), GAZ (+12%) and UAZ (+2%) the other Top 10 manufacturers to improve year-on-year. Outside, Ford delivers an outstanding 39% growth at #11, Lifan is up 67% to #19 and Volvo up 52% to #24. Notice also Subaru (+17%), BMW (+16%), Lexus (+6%) and Suzuki (+3%) in positive. Reversely, recently relaunched low-cost brand Datsun is crumbling apart at -68% to just 793 units and 0.7% share. Mitsubishi (-59%), Chevrolet (-39%) and Nissan (-32%) also suffer.

Lada Vesta Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Lada Vesta now holds 4% of the Russian market. 

Model-wise, the Lada Ganta reclaims a pole position that used to be firmly its own thanks to sales down just 5% to 9.888 vs. 8.193 (-9%) for the Hyundai Solaris, only the third time in the past 10 months that the Granta is the Russian best-seller. The Solaris however historically remains the year-to-date top seller for now with 29.627 units (-12%) vs. 28.871 (-30%) for the Granta. The all-new Vesta continues to climb albeit at a much slower pace and remains at #4: up 5% on March to 4.821 sales and 4% share this month. It may have hit is cruise volume as its price is double that of the Granta.

Toyota RAV4 Russia April 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruToyota RAV4 sales are up 42% in Russia in April. 

Its SUV counterpart the XRAY is up 44% and 10 spots on last month to #13 and 2.184 units, now outselling the Largus (-30%), Kalina (-42%), 4×4 (-41%) and Priora (-36%). The Toyota RAV4 (+42%), Skoda Octavia (+24%), Renault Sandero (+16%), VW Polo (+12%), Skoda Rapid (+6%) and Toyota Camry (+3%) all post year-on-year gains with the new Hyundai Tucson making its very first appearance inside the Top 25 at #22 and the Ford Focus returning into it for only the second time in the past 16 months along with last October (#23).

Previous post: Russia March 2016: Discover the Top 280 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous month: Russia March 2016: Hyundai Solaris sovereign, Vesta cannibalises Granta

One year ago: Russia April 2015: Datsun fades in market down 41%

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Europe March 2016: Discover the Top 335 models and All-brands

Jaguar XE Europe March 2016The XE lifts Jaguar European sales up 97% so far in 2016, and the F-Pace effect is still to come. 

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As is the tradition on BSCB, after the Top 10 brands and Top 20 models preliminary data we now explore full data for all brands and models in March. Final figures bring one change in the Top 10 brands ranking: BMW overtakes Audi to rank #1 luxury brand on the continent thanks to sales up 15% to 94.588 vs. +8% and 94.402. In the Top 20, Dacia (+10%), Volvo (+10%), Mazda (+15%) and Land Rover (+19%) also post double-digit gains. Below, Honda (+14%), Smart (+23%), Jeep (+15%) and Lancia (+23%) also shine while the XE pushes Jaguar up 65%, the NX and RX lift Lexus up 74%, the Tivoli shakes Ssangyong up 82% and the Q30 boosts Infiniti up 104%. Lada (+74%) and Cadillac (+152%) also post spectacular gains but each sell less than 300 units across the continent – Russia and Turkey not being included in this set of countries.

Previous post: Europe March 2016: Opel Astra and Fiat 500 shine in Top 10

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One year ago: Europe March 2015: Now with Top 333 All-models and All-brands

Full March 2016 Top 54 brands and Top 335 models below.

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Bosnia & Herzegovina March 2016: Renault Clio takes control

Renault Clio Bosnia & Herzegovina March 2016The Renault Clio is now #1 year-to-date in Bosnia & Herzegovina. 

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According to data published by Central European market data specialists CE Auto, the Bosnian new car market is up a very dynamic 24% year-on-year in March to 835 registrations, lifting the Q1 total to 1.998 units, up an equally impressive 27.5% on the same period in 2015. Usually dominated by the Skoda Octavia as it was the case just last month, in March it’s the Renault Clio that takes control both for the month with 72 sales and 8.6% share and year-to-date at 118 units and 5.9%, overstepping the Octavia in the process (111 and 5.6%). Volkswagen rounds up the March podium with the Golf at #2 and the Passat at #3, the Suzuki Vitara remains strong at #9 and the Lada Niva is now inside the YTD Top 10.

Previous month: Bosnia & Herzegovina February 2016: Skoda Octavia and Fabia on top

One year ago: Bosnia & Herzegovina March 2015: Opel Astra triumphs

Full March 2016 Top 10 models Ranking Table below.

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Kazakhstan March 2016: Lada implodes (-80%) in market down 58%

Lada Priora Kazakhstan March 2016Even though Lada sales are down 80%, the Priora is back to #1 in Kazakhstan.

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After a two month-hiatus, Kazakhstan is back on BSCB and the market has changed drastically since our last update, sinking further into recession. March sales are down an abysmal 57% year-on-year to just 3.573 sales, pulling the First Quarter volume down 58% to 10.564 units. It would appear the crisis hitting Russia and Ukraine is spreading across the car market of the ex-USSR countries. As is often the case (notably in Ukraine), significantly reduced volumes trigger a complete reshuffle of the brands order. Lada implodes at -80% over the first three months of 2016 and owes its first place to a slightly better March volume (791). Toyota led the way both in January and February and ranks #2 so far in 2016 with 1.821 sales and 17.2% share (-15%) vs. 1.848 and 17.5% (-80%) for Lada. The Russian carmaker held 36.8% of the Kazakh market only a year ago.

Renault Duster Kazakhstan March 2016. Picture courtesy of Illva Davidovich idphoto.kzThe Renault Duster ranks #2 in Kazakhstan so far this year. 

Mimicking its performance in Ukraine, French carmaker Renault manages to improve by 17% so far this year, earning an excellent third spot with 1.546 sales and 14.6% share. Among passenger car brands, only Peugeot (+160%), MG (+150%), Mazda (+18%) and Suzuki (+23%) also manage to gain ground in a devastating market, with Datsun (#21), JAC (#27) and Lifan (#29) choosing the wrong time to enter the Kazakh market. Despite losing almost all its steam in the brands ranking, Lada manages to place the Priora in the models pole position so far in 2016 – a title it lost in 2015 to the Hyundai Accent – with 902 sales and 8.5% share (49% of Lada sales so far in Kazakhstan) and a whopping 15% share in March. It is followed this month by the Renault Sandero (5.9%) and Duster (5.8%) with the GAZ Gazelle and Hyundai Accent rounding up the Top 5. Leader at end-February, the Toyota Camry slumps to #5 due to a poor 10th place in March.

Previous post: Kazakhstan Full Year 2015: Hyundai Accent ends Lada Priora reign

One year ago: Kazakhstan March 2015: Lada Largus now #3 year-to-date

Full March 2016 Top 40 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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Russia March 2016: Hyundai Solaris sovereign, Vesta cannibalises Granta

Lada Vesta Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe Lada Vesta has wrecked havoc in the Russian models charts.

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After -29% in January and -13 in February, the Russian new car market continue to slow down its fall at -10% in March to 125.917 units, partly because the volumes of a year ago were already at historical lows: March 2015 was down 42%. At 319.092 registrations, the year-to-date total over the first quarter is down a paltry 17% on the same period in 2015 which was already down 38% on 2014. Lada (-19%) and Hyundai (-21%) fall at double the rate of the market, resulting in much reduced market shares of 17.7% and 8.7% respectively, while Kia is actually up 2% to 9.8%. These evolutions translate in very different ways in the models ranking as we’ll see below. Inside the Top 10, only Toyota (-15%) lose share while Skoda (+6%), GAZ (+11%) and UAZ (+50%) improve.

Ford Fiesta Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruThe recent Fiesta launch helps boost Ford Russian sales up 120% this month. 

But the most impressive surge is delivered by Ford boosted by strong performances of the Kuga and Fiesta as we saw in the February detail and more than doubling its volume year-on-year at 4.071 units, up 120% to 11th place. Further down and in order of ranking, BMW (+23%), Lifan (+63%), Chery (+34%), Suzuki (+36%) and Cadillac (+241%) deliver strong gains while on the other end of the scale Mazda (-34%), Mitsubishi (-45%), Datsun (-51%) and Ssangyong (-61%) crumble down. It’s a particularly disappointing result for the rebirth of the Datsun brand that had started all guns blazing a little over a year ago.

Hyundai Solaris Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy carscope.ruThe Hyundai Solaris now has a solid grip on the year-to-date Russian models pole position.

Once again it’s the models ranking that is showing the greatest level of movement as the new Lada Vesta continues to climb up the ladder but is cannibalising the Granta in the process. The winners so far are the consistently solid Koreans compact sedans: the Hyundai Solaris is frankly in the lead, going with the market at -11% to 7.678 sales and the Kia Rio at #2 despite sales down 19% to 5.832. The Granta is in freefall at -58% to just 5.181 units while the Vesta is up 55% on its February score to 4.595 sales in 4th place overall.

In March, the year-on-year volume loss endured by the Granta (7.257) and Priora (1.002) which the Vesta officially replaces, adds up to 8.259 units, far from being compensated by the incremental Vesta sales (4.595). The big unknown factor here is whether the Vesta has the volume potential to actually replace the Granta in the Russian pole position. This isn’t a done deal and would actually indicate a very significant shift in purchasing habits from the Russian population as the Vesta is twice as expensive as the Granta. If not, we may be witnessing the start of an era of Korean domination in the models sales charts, a historical first in Russia.

Lada XRAY Russia March 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruFirst Top 25 ranking at home for the all-new Lada XRAY. Picture 

Below, and impressive 6 nameplates inside the Top 12 deliver double-digit gains: the Renault Duster (+35%), VW Polo (+40%), Chevrolet Niva (+24%), Toyota RAV4 (+18%), Renault Sandero (+25%) and Kia Cee’d (+85%) all show impressive strength, as does the UAZ Patriot up 58% to #17. Finally the second all-new Lada launch in the past 6 months, the XRAY crossover, breaks into the Top 25 for its 2nd month in market, up from #32 in February to #23 with 1.518 sales and 1.2% market share in March. This score should improve steadily over the coming months as production ramps up, and it will be interesting to see to which degree it cannibalises the brand’s other SUV offer, the veteran Lada 4×4. For now, the 4×4 year-on-year loss (709 units or -18%) is inferior to the incremental sales the XRAY is bringing (1.518): so far so good.

Previous post: Russia February 2016: Discover the Top 275 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous month: Russia February 2016: Hyundai Solaris leads YTD, market down 13%

One year ago: Russia March 2015: Only SUV sales resist in market down 43%

Full March 2016 Top 50 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

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Russia February 2016: Discover the Top 275 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

Lada X-Ray Russia February 2016. Picture courtesy zr.ruFirst appearance of the Lada X-Ray in the Russian sales charts. 

* See the Top 275 All-models ranking by clicking on the title *

After the Top 20 unveiled a couple of weeks ago, we can now delve into the detail of the Russian models ranking for February. The main news this month is the arrival of the Lada X-Ray, the brand’s first SUV since the 4×4 (aka Niva) was launched in… 1977. The X-Ray lands directly at #32 in February but should fast climb up the ladder over the coming months. The Mercedes GLE resists at a strong 38th position, with both the GLA and GLC also ranking within the Top 45 this month while the Hyundai Tucson (#49) and Suzuki Vitara (#50) are also inside the Top 50. The Geely Emgrand EC7 becomes the best-selling Chinese nameplate (#47), overtaking the Lifan X60 (#54) and X50 (#59).

Previous post: Russia February 2016: Hyundai Solaris leads YTD, market down 13%

Previous month: Russia January 2016: Discover the Top 267 All-models (BSCB Exclusive)

One year ago: Russia February 2015: Market worsens down to -38%

Full February 2016 Top 275 All-models ranking table below.

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World Full Year 2015: Toyota #1 in 91 markets vs. 20 for Volkswagen

Toyota Avanza Indonesia 2015. Picture courtesy is #1 in an estimated 91 markets around the world, including Indonesia (above). 

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After the #1 models in 178 markets, for the first time on BSCB we share with you the #1 best-selling brands in 178 markets around the planet, a list topped by Toyota with an estimated 91 wins vs. “just” 20 for archenemy Volkswagen. Ford (9), Suzuki (8), Hyundai and Renault (7) follow. Note this is not a reflection of the highest worldwide sales volumes which are the subject of a separate reportonly how many countries a specific brand ranks #1 in. If no FY2015 data is available, the most recent data is used, and for about 50 countries (mostly in Africa) the #1 spot is estimated based on thorough observations of the streets of those countries via local BSCB contacts and/or recent YouTube videos.

VW Amarok Argentina November 2015Volkswagen is #1 in 20 markets, including Argentina where it assembles the Amarok (above). 

By topping this ranking, Japanese carmaker Toyota is in line with its #1 worldwide spot, however it surprises with the amount of markets it’s ranking #1 in at a staggering 91. Looking into this tally by geographic location shows a hegemony that spreads across the entire planet: 40 wins are in Africa, 16 in Asia, 11 in America, 9 in Oceania, 8 in the Middle-East and 6 in Europe. Even when removing markets where Toyota’s pole position is estimated, we arrive to 52 official wins, over 2.5 times what any other manufacturer in the world has been able to score in 2015. Archenemy Volkswagen comes second with a – ‘meagre’ in comparison – 20 markets, including 18 in Europe, the other two being China and Argentina. Its budget brand Skoda catches five wins of its own, unsurprisingly all in Eastern Europe.

Ford F-Series World 2015. Picture courtesy youtube.comFord is victorious in ten markets worldwide including the U.S. and the U.K. 

In third place, Ford boosts its total to 9 victories thanks to wins in smaller markets such as American Samoa, Haiti, New Caledonia and Tahiti, on top of some very significant ones such as the U.S. and the U.K. The 4th place of Japanese carmaker Suzuki is a very interesting one: along India and Sri Lanka where it is sold as its subsidiary brand name Maruti Suzuki, and its sphere of influence (Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan), we now find two American countries (Uruguay where it ranked #1 for the very first time in 2015, and Bolivia) as well as one African market (Angola), a testimony to the growing success of its ultra-low cost Alto and Celerio lineup.

Renault Logan Belarus June 2015. Picture courtesy ruh.byRenault wins in seven markets, and Dacia in four. 

Korean Hyundai follows with seven wins including two in America, two in the Middle East, two in Asia and one in Europe (Rep of Macedonia). Its sister brand Kia has four wins of its own, including three in the Middle-East. French manufacturer Renault also has seven wins: on top of its home country France, its dependency Martinique as well as neighbour Belgium, Renault also wins in Portugal, Belarus, Algeria and Tunisia. To its total can be added the four wins of its low-cost brand Dacia (in Bulgaria, Moldova, Morocco and at home in Romania). At a somewhat surprising 8th rank we find General Motors’ main brand Chevrolet with a total of four wins, three of them in South America on top of, interestingly, Egypt. Fiat’s market domination has narrowed to just three victories: at home in Italy, in Brazil and in Lithuania thanks to re-exports. Uz-Daewoo, Lada and Peugeot also score three wins.

Models post: World Full Year 2015: Discover the #1 models in 178 markets

Previous year (models): World Full Year 2014: Discover the #1 models in 177 markets

Two years ago (models): World Full Year 2013: Discover the #1 models in 160 markets

See below for the Full Year 2015 list of 21 top ranking brands and where they are #1, with world maps for the 6 most successful manufacturers.

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North Korea: Hawtai Lusheng E70 and Pyeonghwa Samchunri leaders

PyongyangNorth Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. Picture Marcelo Druck

A lot has happened in North Korea since our last report, so it’s time for a new one. This may be one of the most secretive countries and car markets in the world, but it has no secrets for BSCB. The North Korean new car market is still very limited with an estimated 1.000 to 1.500 new vehicles registered each year, but seems to have enjoyed a mini-boom over the last couple of years as more cars can be seen in the formerly deserted streets of the capital Pyongyang. You won’t find any made-in-Japan cars here though: in 2007, Kim Jong-Il ordered the confiscation of all Japanese-built vehicles… Made-in-China Toyotas are okay.

Hawtai Lusheng E70 North Korea December 2013b. Picture courtesy of Lusheng E70 taxi for North Korea.

Hawtai Lusheng E70 PyongyangProof of purchase: the Hawtai Lusheng E70 taxi in action in Pyongyang. Picture NViktor

Back in December 2013 we reported that Hawtai Motor exported 300 Lusheng E70 taxis to North Korea which, given how limited the North Korean new car market is, would have pushed that nameplate to #1 best-seller for the year. According to exclusive information obtained by BSCB with the Hawtai head office in China, a further 550 Lusheng E70 taxis were exported to North Korea in 2014, meaning the sedan was the best-seller in the country for a second consecutive year then. In 2015, it’s 30 Lusheng E70 taxis and 20 Shengdafei SUV-passenger cars that were exported. In turn, this means Hawtai is trying to extend its export plans to North Korea towards private sales to government officials, the only people able to afford a car in North Korea.

Advertising billboard for the Pyeonghwa Samchunri. Picture by Eric Lafforgue. All Rights reserved.

Pyeonghwa Samchunri in PyongyangPyeonghwa Samchunri in Pyongyang. Picture hélène veilleux

The reduced volume of Hawtai cars exported in 2015 means local brand Pyeonghwa Motors should reclaim the #1 best-seller title with its Samchunri minivan, a rebadged Jinbei Haise (itself based on the 1989 Toyota Hiace), assembled under license from Brilliance. Pyeonghwa Motors (meaning ‘Peace’ in Korean) was founded in 1999 and started assembling the first generation Fiat Palio and Doblo in 2002. The company has the exclusive rights to car production, purchase and used car sales in North Korea. It is also currently the only company in North Korea, all sectors put together, to have the right to advertise. A series of billboards (such as the one above) and TV commercials have been made in an effort to show residents that their country is able to produce products such as motor vehicles.

Pyeonghwa Hwiparam III North KoreaPyeonghwa Hwiparam III taxi in Pyongyang. Picture Kuanping Lin

Pyeonghwa Premio CUVThe Pyeonghwa Premio Max is exported to Vietnam. 

Pyeonghwa Motors is originally the fruit of a controversial deal between South Korea’s Unification Church and the North Korean government, but the South Korean church dropped out in 2013 and since no reports on production or new models have been released. Indeed, the official Pyeonghwa Motors website hasn’t seen its English version updated since 2012. On top of the Samchunri, Pyeonghwa sells a range of rebadged Brilliance and Huanghai including the Hwiparam III (Brilliance FSV), Hwiparam II (Brilliance BS4), Premio CUV (Huanghai Shuanguan) and Premio Max pick-up (Huanghai Plutus) also exported in Vietnam through Mekong Auto (see above).

Pyeonghwa FAW models. Picture courtesy Ray CunninghamPyeonghwa-rebadged FAW models in Pyongyang showroom. Picture Raymond Cunningham

Pyeonghwa Samnchunri BAIC E-Series. Picture courtesy Ray CunninghamPyeonghwa Samchunri and BAIC E-Series in Pyongyang showroom. Picture Raymond Cunningham

However a quick look at Pyeonghwa’s sole showroom in the country, in Pyongyang, (above) shows that at least two new partnerships with Chinese operations have been struck in the past couple of years. The first one is with FAW: the Oley, Besturn B50, FAW-VW Bora and Magotan can be seen in the showroom in pictures taken in September 2014. The second one is with Beijing Auto as we can see a BAIC E-Series hatch next to the new Samchunri as well as a BAW Jeep.

Lada Taxi PyongyangLada Zhiguli taxi in Pyongyang (2011). Picture Judith Ay

BYD F3 North KoreaBYD F3 taxi in Pyongyang (2014). Picture Lawrence Wang

Other notable vehicles spotted in Pyongyang – mostly as taxis – are the BYD F3, VW Jetta, Ford Focus, once again made-in-China, as well as some Volvos and Ladas. If you have any additional information about the North Korean market please make sure to get in touch in the comments below.