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Albania 2017: VW Golf should lead, Mercedes dominates landscape

The Albanian Police has purchased a fleet of VW e-Golf in October 2016.

Still no official data for the Albanian new car market, only estimated total sales up to 2016 published in November 2017 that show exponential growth from 2006 (800 sales) to 2012 (2.300) but a stable trend since 2014 at 2.500 units (see below). Figures obtained with the Renault Group contract this level and estimate the Albanian new car and LCV market at 1.600 units in 2017 vs. 1.300 in 2016.

New car sales in Albania (estimate) 2005-2016 

Based on thorough observation of recent street videos of the main cities of the country, our estimate that the VW Golf should be the best-selling new car in Albania still stands. The Albanian Police even purchased a fleet of e-Golf in October 2016 even though the country does not have a single charging station…. Other popular nameplates include the new generation Hyundai Elantra (as a taxi in the capital Tirana), the VW Caddy, Smart Fortwo, Ford Focus, Fiesta, Citroen C3, Fiat Punto, Skoda Fabia, VW Passat and BMW X5. The Renault Captur and Dacia Sandero also seem to have received a warm welcome.

But the main attraction of the Albanian car landscape remains the extremely high occurrence of used Mercedes sedans, said to be accounting for an astonishing 3 in 5 vehicles in circulation in Tirana. The most popular nameplates are the 200/300 and E-Class, but the 190 and its descendant the C-Class are also strong. The reason behind this popularity: the toughness of Mercedes sedans allowing them to withstand even the roughest countryside tracks the country has to offer. Albania has actually become famous worldwide for its love of all things Mercedes, so much so that Mercedes itself chose the country as the location for one of its adverts for the GLE SUV.

Picture Vincent LerouxPicture Jalopnik Mercedes GLE on official trip to Albania

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