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Georgia 2012-2013: Ford Transit dominates, almost no Ladas left…

Ford Transit Tbilisi Georgia 2013. Picture courtesy of YouTubeFord Transit Minibus in Tbilisi, Georgia March 2013.

* See the Full article featuring street videos by clicking on the title! *

A lot has happened since my last update on Georgia. Firstly, there is a new stream of yellow Ford Transit minibuses everywhere in the capital Tbilisi. This is because the city’s public transport authority bought no less than 3,000 of these from Turkish Ford Otosan in 2011. 1,200 were delivered by the end of 2011 and the remaining 1,800 hit Tbilisi streets in 2012. Given the entire Georgian new vehicle market was limited to 2,500 units in 2010, it can safely be assumed that the Ford Transit was by far the best-selling model in the country, both in 2011 with around 40% of the market and in 2012 at 56% share. Government orders can have a big impact on the overall sales charts of a country when the market is small, like in Macedonia where 150 Skoda Yeti delivered last January have virtually ensured that model the #1 spot for the entire year…

Ford Transit Georgia 2012The first batch of Ford Transit delivered to the public transport authority of Tbilisi in 2011.

So apart from the Ford Transit, what are the popular models in Georgia? Let’s start with a bit of heritage: there is an astoundingly high amount of 1991 Opel Astras still on the roads, especially the station wagon version. That model must have reached extraordinarily high market share in the nineties here. Reversely, even though Georgia was part of the USSR until 1991, there are almost no Ladas left, I have picked no more than 5 in 45 mins worth of 2013 YouTube videos of Tbilisi streets…

Mitsubishi Pajero iO Georgia 2013. Picture courtesy of YouTubeGeorgian consumers have a weird love for the Mitsubishi Pajero iO…

Many many used Mercedes 200/300 or E Class, a very strong Nissan Micra heritage (all generations), a lot of previous gen Toyota Hilux, the odd Iran Khodro Samand and an obsession with the Mitsubishi Pajero iO, which can be seen at almost every street corner, are other particularities of the Georgian car landscape.

Toyota Prado Georgia 2013. Picture courtesy of YouTubeToyota Prado in Tbilisi, Georgia February 2013.

As far as new models are concerned, in my last update on Georgia I estimated the Toyota Corolla to be #1, this seems to have passed somewhat as I have picked no 2010 facelifted model. The Skoda Octavia could have replaced it, with the Toyota Prado and Kia Sportage also very strong. Let’s also mention the Skoda Fabia, Toyota Land Cruiser, Renault Logan MCV, Mercedes M-Class, Opel Astra Classic, Lexus LX and Toyota Avensis.

Tbilisi Street videos (including a pretty crazy biker video) below.

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