Laos 2020. Toyota and Hyundai lose share in a market down 20.9%

Laos car market
The 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition

Laos auto market in 2020 falls by 20.9% as the pandemic,  lockdowns, and fall in tourism affect sales. Full-Year sales have been 16.666, while the leaders Toyota and Hyundai plummet by 33.2% and 42.8% respectively.

Economic Environment

The pandemic and measures to contain its spread both domestically and abroad have hammered the economy this year. Despite the low number of reported local cases, the global health crisis has dealt an especially severe blow to the tourism sector, investment, and exports—key sources of foreign exchange—worsening the country’s external liquidity problems and increasing credit risks.

Moreover, rising countercyclical spending and falling revenue have derailed the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts. That said, large-scale development initiatives such as the China-Laos railway and other projects relating to mining and tourism continue to progress.

Against this backdrop, the government reopened some local borders in late October and is intensifying its efforts to boost economic prospects and improve the business climate, including by pledging to facilitate investment from the private sector.

Market Trend

Laos car market has been hit in 2020 by the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic and by the consequent drop in tourism, which has impacted sales significantly.

Following the rapid development of the market in the years immediately after the end of the dictatorship, in the last three years, the Laos vehicles market suffered from declining sales, despite the still fast-growing economy.

In 2018 the total light-vehicle sales were 19.560, down 7.9% from the previous year. The market lost steam despite in the previous three years several new brands landed in the market and actually all the top brands are on sales, while not all successfully.

In 2019 the market finally moderately recovered with final sales at 21.079 units, up 7.7%. The car passenger segment, which counts 31% of the total light vehicles market, declined 7.2%, but this loss was more than balanced by the growth of the LCVs (mainly pickups) up a robust 16.4%.

Indeed, Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 16.666, reporting a decline of 20.9% compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the leader Toyota (-33.2%) lost 3.3% market share, followed by Hyundai (-42.8%), which lost 3.4% share. Ford (+1.8%) remained third and gained 0.5% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Toyota Hilux with 2.817 sales (-34.2%).