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Georgia Full Year 2017: Toyota holds 40% share, Land Cruiser best-seller (BSCB Exclusive)

The Toyota Land Cruiser is the best-selling vehicle in Georgia for 2017.

* See the Top 47 All-brands and Top 275 All-models by clicking on the title *

It’s always a very happy event on BSCB when a new country opens up with official sales data. It is the case today for the central Asian nation of Georgia. Georgian new car sales edge down 0.7% year-on-year in 2017 to 3.470 registrations. One carmaker dominates this market head and shoulders: Toyota, soaring 17% this year to improve its share by six percentage points to a mammoth 39.8%. Hyundai (+0.4%) overtakes Ford (-23%) to claim 2nd place overall while Mercedes (-6%) remains in a splendid 4th position. The most impressive evolution for the year is without a doubt delivered by Skoda, up almost 5-fold on its 2016 score and 13 spots to land at #5. Mitsubishi (+24%) and Suzuki (+12%) also break into the Top 10 while further down, Jaguar (+100%), Peugeot (+86%), Land Rover (+50%), Porsche (+39%) and Mazda (+25%) impress but Opel (-65%), Honda (-58%), Kia (-58%), Mini (-54%), Foton (-47%), Volkswagen (-46%), Audi (-39%) and Chevrolet (-36%) disappoint.

The Toyota RAV4 is up 6% to 2nd place overall. 

As expected, the top of the Georgian models ranking is a Toyota affair, with the Japanese manufacturer monopolising the Top 5 like it did in 2016. The order is different from last year though: thanks to deliveries up 24%, the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 replaces its slightly smaller sibling the Toyota Prado, leader in 2016 but down 41% to #5 this year. The Toyota RAV4 (+6%) and Corolla (+15%) both advance one spot to #2 and #3 respectively while the Toyota C-HR makes a thunderous arrival at #4 overall for its first full year in market, simply its best 2017 ranking anywhere in the world equalling its score at home in Japan.

The Toyota C-HR ends 2017 at a world-best 4th place in Georgia.

In 2017 the Skoda Octavia, up 14-fold and 68 spots year-on-year, is the best-selling non-Toyota nameplate in Georgia and one of only two in the Top 10 along with the Hyundai Tucson (+71%) at #8. The Toyota Fortuner, Prius and Hilux make it indeed 8 Toyotas in the 2017 Georgian Top 10. Best-selling non-Toyota last year, the Lada Niva dives 27% to disappear from the Top 10. Notice also the Mercedes GLE (+55%), Suzuki Vitara (+65%), Skoda Rapid (+189%), Ford Fiesta (+79%) and Hyundai Creta (+125%) all making waves in the Top 20. The Nissan Kicks (#50) is the best-selling launch for the year ahead of the Range Rover Velar (#59) and Fiat Fullback (#64).

Previous post: Georgia Full Year 2014: Photo Report and analysis

Full Year 2017 Top 47 All-brands and Top 275 All-models vs. Full Year 2016 figures below.

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Georgia Full Year 2014: Photo Report and analysis

Toyota Corolla Georgia 2014bThe Toyota Corolla could be the best-seller in Georgia in 2014.

Today we get a more detailed insight into the car parc of Georgia, an ex-USSR state located in Caucasus with Russia to the north, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the south and the Black Sea to the west. Thanks to Marco D’Abbraccio we can get a better understanding of this very secretive market. With Full Year 2014 sales estimated by LMC Automotive at 5.500, this is a very limited market from where no official sales data has seeped through so far. Its location at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia transpires in its car parc.

All Photos below © Marco D’Abbraccio

1. Ford Taurus Tbilissi policeFord Taurus Interceptor Tbilissi Police

The Georgian car parc is a unique mix that reflects various economic ties with neighbouring countries. As it was the case in Eastern Russia, a large part of the Tbilissi car landscape is composed of affordable right-hand drive used imports from Japan coming through Georgia via, with the Toyota Ist and Mitsubishi Delica among the Top 5 most common cars there, used imports from Europe notably the Opel Astra and Vectra, and high end Mercedes from the 1990s as well as luxury SUVs.

2. Fiat Linea Georgia 2015Fiat Linea

As far as new cars are concerned, our bet on the title of 2014 best-seller in Georgia is on the Toyota Corolla produced in neighbouring Turkey and therefore imported with ease into the country. Interestingly there doesn’t seem to be that many more successful Turkish models, apart perhaps from the Fiat Linea pictured above. The Skoda Octavia could also compete for the #1 spot, making Georgia lean towards Eastern Europe, and the Toyota Land Cruiser is also a contender, this time linking Georgia with such markets as Kyrgyzstan across the Caspian Sea or even Mongolia.

7. BMW X5 Georgia 2015BMW X5

Affordable SUVs such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Santa Fe are also popular, this time mimicking steppe trends and Azerbaijan best-sellers, with which Georgia shares a border. Some Iranian influence in the shape of a handful of Iran Khodro Samand taxis circulating in Tbilissi, as well as a pinch of Uzbek imports with (only a very few) Uz-Daewoo Nexia spotted by Marco achieve to complete a very multi-cultural new car landscape indeed.

3. Zhiguli Georgia 20154. Gaz 24 Volga 3Zhiguli and GAZ 24 Volga

One of the main learnings about Georgia is that although the countries keep strong ties with most of its neighbours, it has all but severed car communication with ex-ruler Russia. If a lot of Zhiguli and GAZ Volga can still be spotted – mainly outside of big cities – the proportion of Russian models in the Georgian new car market is close to zero…

4. Opel Vectra Georgia 2015Opel Vectra in Tbilissi, Georgia – April 2015.

Active manufacturers in the country that have developed a reasonable network of dealerships include Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Skoda and Nissan. As we have seen in 2012-2013, given the small size of the market a large government order can vastly impact the list of best-sellers. After the Transit, Ford looks like it has benefited from another group order in the form of Ford Taurus Interceptor used as Tbilissi Police cars. However this order is much smaller and doesn’t enable Taurus any claims to the #1 title.

6. Toyota Will in Bodbe5. Gaz M21 Volga 1956Toyota Will used Japanese import, GAZ M21 Volga

Other popular models include the Hyundai Solaris, Renault Logan and Nissan Micra/March. Many thanks to Marco D’Abbraccio for this detailed reporting on the Georgian car landscape. If you have access to official sales data for this country, please ensure you get in touch by commenting on this article.

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

The Photo Report continues below.

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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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Georgia: Toyota Corolla should be on top

* Click on title for more street scenes! *

Georgian consumers were very fast to shed their Soviet past: there are virtually no Ladas anymore in the streets of the capital city Tbilisi. The Toyota Corolla should take the lead of the sales ranking in 2010, followed by the Hyundai Tucson and the Toyota Camry.

Other successful cars in Georgia include the Nissan Tiida, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Pajero and Hyundai ix35. There are also a lot of second hand 1991 Opel Astras and various Mercedes in the streets.

Street Scenes below.

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USSR 1989-1991: VAZ (Lada) and Izh most popular brands

Lada 2105

* See the Top 8 all-brands ranking by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Alex *

The last years of existence of the Soviet Union see new car sales stagnate in the region: down 6% to 710,525 registrations in 1989 and up 0.1% in 1990 to 711,454. Sales to state organisations, intelligence services and the army are more on a rollercoaster: down 15% to 141,700 in 1989 and back up a massive 59% in 1990 to 225,446.

Izh 2125 Kombi

As expected VAZ (Lada) is the most popular brand in the country with 381,594 sales and 53.7% share in 1989, then 373,579 and 52.5% in 1990. It is followed by Izh at 133,750 then 127,503 and ZAZ at 92,768 then 86,732. The Moskvich 2141 Aleko is counted as a model given it now forms the entirety of the Moskvich range and sales are up 318% to 62,675 and 8.8% in 1989 for its first full year in market, then down 18% to 51,429 in 1990.

Note that in 1989, Soviet citizens were allowed to purchase the UAZ 3151 Patriot again, it was previously only delivered to the army and police. Car imports kick started in the USSR on March 16, 1988 but no data is available until 1990 when a significant 37,400 units were sold, this figure going up 51% in 1991 to 56,300…

Previous post: USSR 1988: Lada 2106 leads, Samara on podium

Full Year 1989 and 1990 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

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USSR 1988: Lada 2106 leads, Samara on podium

Lada Samara

* See the Top 15 all-models ranking by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Alex *

In 1988, the private new car market is down 8% year-on-year to 754,600 registrations, with the sales to state organisations, intelligence services and the army down 14% to 165,950 units. The VAZ 2106 keeps the pole position with sales up 1% to 216,890 and 28.7% share, while its archenemy the Moskvich 2140, at the end of its life, loses 28% on 1987 but stays #2 at 150,804 units. The Lada Samara climbs onto the podium at #3 with 95,028 sales (+7%).

Lada Niva 4×4

The IZH 2125 Kombi incredibly gains 3% to 47,500 units at #5 and the Lada Niva 4×4 is up a fantastic 32% at #6 with 40,243 sales, followed by the Lada 2107 and 2105.

GAZ 21-40 “Volga”

Moskvich 2141 “Aleko”

ZAZ 1102 “Tavria”

The GAZ 21-40 “Volga” is up one spot to #9 at 21,164 units. There are two new entrants in the 1987 models ranking: the Moskvich 2141 “Aleko” lands directly at #10 with 15,000 sales and the ZAZ 1102 “Tavria” ranks #13 with 2.100 units. Note imports started being allowed into the USSR on March 16, 1988.

Previous post: USSR 1987: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 fight it off

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Full Year 1988 Top 15 all-models Ranking Table below.

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USSR 1987: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 fight it off

VAZ 2106 (aka Lada 1600)

* See the Top 14 All-models ranking by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Alex *

Thanks to Alex we are going back in time 25 years today because I can finally share with you for the first time on BSCB official models data for the USSR in the eighties! This is extremely rare data, detailing the private sales of all models in the country for 1987 and 1988 which you can check out in another post. I hope you enjoy it! In 1987, 819,960 new vehicles were sold to private buyers, to which you have to add 197,250 to state organizations, intelligence services and the army. However detailed models data for the latter is unknown.

Moskvich 2140

And the first surprise in the 1987 models ranking is to see that the VAZ 2106 (aka Lada 1600) is actually threatened by the Moskvich 2140 with 215,800 sales and 26.3% vs. 208,200 and 25.4%. Given this was the Moskvich’s last full year of sales it is reasonable to assume that it has led the USSR models ranking for at least a few years during the eighties and possibly seventies…

ZAZ 968M

Another forgotten model manages to hold itself within the USSR podium in 1987: the ZAZ 968M, also called Zaporozhets, with an impressive 116,500 units sold for a 14.2% market share. The Lada Samara is the fourth and last model to hold at least 10% of the Soviet market at #4 with 88,800 sales and 10.8%.

IZH 2125 Kombi

In 5th place, notice the IZH 2125 Kombi, and please raise your hand if you don’t live in Russia right now and knew about this model… I didn’t. Originally launched in 1973, the 2125 enjoyed a slight facelift in 1982 and would continue its career in Russia all the way through to 1997…


Further down, notice all the iterations of the Lada “Zhigouli” ranking from #7 (2107) to #12 (2104) and the memerising LUAZ 969M 4×4 in 11th place with 11,200 sales.

Previous post: USSR 1980-1986: Lada 2104-7 likely leader

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Full Year 1987 Top 14 all-models Ranking Table below.

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USSR 1980-1986: Lada 2106 and Moskvich 2140 likely leaders

Lada 2106

Lada launches the 2105 in 1979, basically a restyled 2101. The traditional Deluxe version, named 2107, is added in 1982 and the Station Wagon, 2104, appears in 1984. More info on the Lada 2105 series here. However the 2106, launched in 1975, should still be the brand’s best-seller in the country over the period…

Moskvich 2140

…potentially overtaken in the overall ranking by the Moskvich 2140, facelifted in 1981, during some years. If you have access to official models data for the period please make sure you get in touch by commenting on here or filling up the ‘Contact’ form.

Previous post: USSR 1970-1979: Lada 2101-3 conquers the Soviet roads

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USSR 1970-1979: Lada 2101-3 conquers the Soviet roads

Lada 2101

The brand VAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod), better known worldwide as Lada, was established in the late 1960’s in collaboration with Fiat and started producing the 2101, a localised version of the Fiat 124, in 1979.

Even though there are no official figures available, the Lada 2101 in all likeliness dominated car sales in the USSR throughout the seventies. In 1972 the 2102, a Station Wagon, and the 2103, a Deluxe version, are added, reinforcing the domination of the model on the Soviet roads.  More info on the Lada 2101 series here.

Please get in touch if you have any data relating to this period!

Next post: USSR 1980-1985: Lada 2104-7 likely leader

Lada 2102

Lada 2103