Kiribati – a paradise soon to be lost?
* See the Top 3 All-brands and Top 6 All-Toyota models by clicking on the title *
Kiribati is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean composed of 33 atolls and reef islands which rise only one or two metres above sea level and one raised coral island, Banaba. With a population of 103.500 inhabitants, Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979. The islands forming the Kiribati nation are dispersed over 3.5 million km2 (1.351.000 sq mi), spreading across the equator and the International Date Line, although the Date Line is indented to bring the Line Islands in the same day as the Kiribati Islands. As such, Kiribati extends into the eastern, western, northern and southern hemispheres, being the only country in the world that is situated within all four hemispheres.
The Toyota Hiace is the best-selling vehicle in Kiribati in 2014.
In 1999, two small uninhabited Kiribati islets, Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea, disappeared underwater. Kiribati is one of the nations in the world the most vulnerable to increasing sea levels due to global warming, making it likely that within a century the nation’s arable land will be largely submerged. A dreadful prospect indeed.
In this context and with an extremely complicated infrastructure covering such a large area, the Kiribati new car market is extremely limited, at just 60 units in 2014. Toyota holds the lion share of the I-Kiribati market at 78.3% with Nissan at 20%. Contrary to most Pacific nation, the Toyota Hiace is the most popular vehicle on the archipelago with a 55% market share, with the Hilux being Toyota’s other strong seller at 10% of the overall market. Nissan could place the Frontier on the podium.
Full Year 2014 Top 3 All-brands and Top 6 All-Toyota models below.