The 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
Ford 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.
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.
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.
Zhiguli 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…
Opel Vectra in Tbilissi, Georgia – April 2015.
Toyota 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.
The Photo Report continues below.