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Turkmenistan Full Year 2017: Mercedes #1 brand at 45.2% share

Toyota Corolla taxis in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Picture

* See the Top 5 All-brands and Top 10 models by clicking on the title *

Extremely rare data is available today for the very secretive nation of Turkmenistan, and this for only the second time in BSCB history. Two years ago, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov banned the import of black cars, and  he banned black and dark-coloured vehicles from the country’s capital Ashgabat, with the culprit cars being seized by police and their owners told they must pay up to the equivalent of one year salary to have them repainted silver or white.

Toyota Corolla taxis in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Pictures,

Ashgabat is known as the ‘City of White Marble’ and the President is a lover of white, travelling in white limousines, because he believes white brings good fortune. Simultaneously, it is reported that women have been banned from driving in the country because they have been accused of causing most car accidents, meaning Turkmenistan replaces Saudi Arabia as the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, this information according to the Daily Mail UK.

Nissan Sunny taxi near Berkarar shopping centre. Picture

Over the Full Year 2017, 755 new cars officially found a buyer in the country – that excludes grey imports (not the colour, the unofficial mode of importation into the country). Just three carmakers hold a mammoth 96.5% of the market. If for our last update the Mercedes C-Class was the best-selling nameplate in Turkmenistan, this time it’s Mercedes that stuns with a brands victory and a gargantuan 45.2% market share. Toyota follows with 38.5% of sales while Volkswagen takes the third step of the podium at 12.8%. Hyundai and Skoda are the only two other active brands in the country for 2017.

Opel Vectra in Turkmenistan desert. Picture © 

In the models ranking, thanks to a taxi fleets delivered in August and pictured above, the Toyota Corolla is the best-seller nationally with 26.5% share, distancing the Mercedes E-Class at 22.4% and the VW Touareg at 11.9%. Four additional Mercedes find their way in the Top 10 (the Sprinter, S-Class, GLE and GLS), vs. one Hyundai (the Elantra) and four more Toyotas in the Top 12 (Hiace, Camry, Hilux and Prado).

Previous post: Turkmenistan September 2015: Mercedes C-Class and Hyundai Elantra dominate

Full Year 2017 Top 5 All-brands and Top 10 models below.

Turkmenistan September 2015: Mercedes C-Class & Hyundai Elantra dominate (BSCB Exclusive)

Surprise: the Mercedes C-Class is the best-selling vehicle in Turkmenistan so far in 2015…

…above the Hyundai Elantra.

* See the Top 10 best-selling brands and models by clicking on the title *

Historic day for BSCB: today we add Turkmenistan to the list of worldwide markets with official new car sales data. Granted, it’s a tiny market, but it’s always a great feeling to bring a new country into the spotlight once in a while. 426 new light vehicles found a new home in Turkmenistan over the first 9 months of 2015. with the favourite carmaker in the country and the only one to manage to sell upwards of 100 units being Hyundai with a mammoth 24.4% market share and 108 units, distancing Nissan (18.3%), Toyota (16.2%) and Mercedes (16%). UZ-Daewoo, assembled in neighbouring Uzbekistan, holds 12.7% of the Turkmen maket.

Opel Vectra in Turkmenistan. Picture © 

The models ranking uncovers a big surprise: the best-seller so far in 2015 with only one quarter left is the Mercedes C-Class with a mammoth 14.6% market share. It is to be noted that the C-Class’s pole position is solely credited to a massive 60-unit-delivery in June. The Hyundai Elantra follows at 6.1% share above the UZ-Daewoo Nexia and the Toyota Camry, estimated to be the best-seller in Turkmenistan in my last update on this country dating back to 2013. Lastly, notice the expensive Toyota Prado elbowing its way into the Turkmen Top 10 with 3.5% of the market so far this year.

Previous post: Turkmenistan 2013: Toyota Camry king, Avalon surprises

Full January-September 2015 Top 10 brands and models Ranking Tables below.

Turkmenistan 2013: Toyota Camry king, Avalon surprises

The Toyota Avalon has been popular in Turkmenistan since its original launch in 1995.

We continue on our exploration of Central Asian markets: after Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan we find ourselves in Turkmenistan. And judging by the most recent videos of the streets of the capital Ashgabat, one thing is almost 100% sure: the Toyota Camry has dominated the Turkmen sales charts since the country became independent in 1991. Various generations of the model (including the current one) flood the streets, they are even way more Camrys than Lada Zhigulis, the last testament of the country’s appartenance to the USSR.

Toyota Camry

But Toyota’s domination of the Turkmen streets doesn’t stop with the Camry: there is a long list of successful models that can be noticed very frequently in Ashgabat. Firstly, the Lexus RX. It may not be #2 in the new car sales charts, but there is an unbelievably high number of all 3 generations of the model everywhere in the capital city. If I had to bet, I would choose the Toyota Prado and the Hyundai ix35, most likely the best-selling non-Toyota in Turkmenistan, to rank within the models podium in 2013.

Lexus RX

Apart from the expected Corolla, Land Cruiser and Hiace, popular Toyotas in Turkmenistan surprisingly also include the Avalon (all 4 generations since 1995!, Sienna and Venza. Looks like Turkmen consumers have a very American taste when it come to purchasing cars…

Opel Vectra in Turkmenistan. Picture by , all rights reserved.

Notice also a strikingly high amount of Hyundai Sonata (especially the current generation), Infiniti FX, GAZ Gazelle (which could be the best-selling LCV in the country), Nissan Tiida and Kia Sorento.

Lada Zhiguli. Picture by , all rights reserved.

Other Turkmen specificities include an 1991 or 1998 Opel Astra station wagon literally at every street corner, lots of Opel Vectras and the Hyundai HR, Elantra, Accent, Nissan Patrol, Pathfinder and Toyota Hilux also strong. As far as Chinese models are concerned, I noticed two Great Wall Hover in about 20 minutes of video.

Ashgabat street videos and more pictures below.

Turkmenistan: Camry and Lada kings of the road

* Click on title for more street scenes and video! *

Two cars have been dominating the Turkmen market for many years now: the Toyota Camry (starting with the 1996 generation) and the Lada 2105. These two models add up to almost half the cars in circulation in the capital city Ashgabat.

More street scenes and street video below.

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. A different source has total USSR sales in 1989 at 857.086, 1990 at 954.256 and 1991 at 974.945.

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.

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

Next post: USSR/Russia 1989-1995: Lada 2104-7 and Samara should dominate

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

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

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

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

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

Lada 2106

USSR new vehicle sales reach 1.035.663 units in 1985, the last time above 1 million until 8 years later in 1993. In 1986 the market drops 3.9% to 994.805. 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 . 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

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

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 1970.

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 .

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


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