Congo 2018. Auto sales dropped down 40.5%

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The Toyota Camry 2018

Congo Republic vehicles market fell down 40.5% in 2018 with 1.965 sales, after the previous year’s boom. Toyota kept dominating the market with 39.2% of share – declining by 43% – ahead of several Japanese brands.

Republic of the Congo, also called Congo-Brazzaville, is a central African nation with rainforest reserves that are habitats for gorillas. Its capital city, Brazzaville, lies across the Congo River from Kinshasa, the capital of neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. Brazzaville’s highlights include traditional craft markets and the mid-20th-century Basilique Sainte-Anne, with a green-tiled roof and spire.

The Republic of the Congo’s economy is a mixture of subsistence farming, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects.

The new vehicles market is still very little in the country, addressed by import of used vehicles from Europe and Middle East, and actually the annual sales of new cars represents less than 10% of total vehicles registrations.

In recent years the market was stable around the 2.000 annual sales, while in the 2017, the recovery of oil price in the international market, sustained internal demand boosting the registrations of new light vehicles at the new record of 3.304 units, up 74.3%, rebalancing the volume after two years of decline.

However, in 2018 the new vehicles sales were hit by a large drop, which pulled the market below the 2.000 threshold. Indeed, the year ended with 1.965 units sold, losing 40.5% from the previous year.

At brand-wise, with 39.2% of market share, Toyota has dominated the competitive landscape ahead of several Japanese brands. While Peugeot ranks as the 6th largest brand in the market, Renault, usually very active in Africa, specifically in the French-speaking countries like this, is not yet active, probably underestimating the market size.