Congo 2020. Auto sales plummet for the third year in a row, falling below 1000 units

Congo Car market
The 2020 Mitsubishi ASX

Democratic Republic of Congo vehicles market falls due to the global pandemic affecting sales. Indeed, Full Year 2020 sales have 841, down 36.2% compared to 2019. Toyota consolidates leadership while Nissan (-56%) loses 4.1% market share.

Economic Environment

Following a subdued H1 as a result of the Covid-19 hit, although the blow was cushioned somewhat by mines continuing to operate despite the adverse health situation, economic conditions seem to have improved so far in H2. The production of copper, one of the country’s main exports alongside cobalt, remained robust in Q3, which, coupled with rallying prices for the commodity since their pandemic-induced collapse in March, bodes well for the external sector.

Moreover, crude oil output picked up in Q3, while zinc production soared in September, likely providing further support. The domestic activity also seems to have benefited from easing price pressures and increased exchange rate stability recently.

Lastly, business sentiment regarding the current economic environment turned optimistic in October, hinting at a positive start for the final quarter of the year.

Market Trend

The Cameroon vehicle market has been affected in 2020 by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted sales significantly. 

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

In recent years the market was stable around the 2.000 annual sales, while in 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 vehicle 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.

In 2019 the situation definitely did not improve, as the year ended with 1.319 units sold, losing 33% from the previous year and keeping the same trend of decline.

Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 841, reporting a 36.2% decrease compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the leader Toyota (-31.2%) gained 3.4% market share, followed by Mitsubishi (-44%), which lost 2% share. Nissan (-56%) was in the third position and lost 4.1% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Toyota Hilux with 123 sales (-27.6%), holding 14.6% market share.