This concludes my Myanmar Photo Report series, see all Photo with over 120 high resolution pictures here. Based on meetings and conversations with various dealership managers and observations on the streets of Yangon and Bagan, I can share with you an estimate of the best-selling new nameplates in Myanmar in 2014. Firstly lets keep in mind this is still a minuscule new car market with most cars entering the country being used imports from Japan. I estimate the Myanmar new vehicle market at no more than 300 units per month, and no more than 3,000 new sales over the Full Year 2014.
1. Suzuki Super Carry
The Suzuki Super Carry is currently the only new vehicle manufactured locally and therefore one of the few ones able to compete with dirt-cheap used Japanese mini trucks. According to store director Aung Myo Naing, 35 to 80 new Suzuki Super Carry find a buyer in the country each month depending on group orders, giving the model a 20% market share over the year with an estimated 600 sales.
2. Toyota Hiace
Toyota has a whole sold 30-40 new cars a month in Myanmar this year, and their best-seller is the Hiace which, at the time when store manager Aung Aye confirmed it, sounded odd as I hadn’t really noticed that many new ones in the streets of Yangon. But after staying in Bagan I understood why: most premium hotel have one to transport their customers. And they’d rather (and can afford) to buy new, unlike the majority of the population. I estimate 15-20 Toyota Hiace find a buyer every month in Myanmar, adding up to 200 in 2014.
3. Toyota Hilux
Still extravagantly priced (US$78.000 for a double cab) due to high import taxes, Myanmar construction companies still find it hard to resist the charms of a new Toyota Hilux that can be imported from neighbouring Thailand where it is manufactured. The 1.5 cab is by far the most popular and along with a constant stream of used examples, the Hilux already accounts for a significant part of the Yangon traffic. I estimate sales of 10-15 a month in Myanmar in 2014, adding up to 120 for the Full Year.
4. Mazda CX-5
The Mazda dealership just opened on October 20 but Mazda already reports dynamic sales in the country, in line with street observations and the activity at the dealership, and singles out the CX-5 as its clear best-seller so far. I estimate 20 a month over the last two months of 2014.
5. Ford Ranger
This ranking is based solely on observations in the streets of Yangon as I didn’t have the opportunity to meet anyone at Ford Myanmar. Like the Toyota Hilux, the Ford Ranger can be imported as new pretty easily from neighbouring Thailand and local new sales could reach 40 units over 2014.
Should follow in this order: the Kia K2700, Optima, Sportage, Honda CR-V and Kia Rio but monthly sales could potentially be counted on the fingers of one hand. Other successful new models in Myanmar worth mentioning include the Kia Carens and Picanto and Chevrolet Trailblazer and Spin. I also spotted my very first 2015 Nissan Navara in Yangon as well as one shining new Mercedes E-Class and one Ford Explorer.