Laos 2021. Leader Toyota Surpasses 50% Share In Market Up In Double-digits

Laos car market
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Laos Cars Industry in 2021 rises by 25.5% with 20,910 sales, reporting a very strong performance all year, except for Q3 when sales remained flat. Leader Toyota surpasses 50% market share this year, rising by 51.1%.

Economic Environment

After GDP growth faced some obstacles in the first half of last year, the economy seemingly remained downbeat in H2: High Covid-19 cases in early July forced authorities to extend social-distancing measures nationwide and tighten them in the capital, Vientiane. However, restrictions seemed to ease slightly towards the end of the year, with the lockdown in Luang Prabang city lifted on 1 November.

Meanwhile, the China-Laos railway was opened in early December, promising deeper access to the Asian giant’s economy. Moving on to this year, Covid-19 infection rates are on the rise with daily case numbers reaching four digits, boding ill for activity ahead. In other news, the IMF concluded its Article IV consultation on 22 December. It highlighted the impact of the health crisis on economic momentum, and pointed out emerging risks stemming from inflation and currency depreciation.

Market Trend

Laos’s car market this year recovered effectively from the pandemic crash, with sales increasing in double-digits in all quarters except for Q3.

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%.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sales fell in  2020. In fact, 16,666 units have been sold, reporting a decline of 20.9% compared to 2019.

In 2021 the year started positively for the Laos market, in fact, in Q1 5,149 units have been sold, reporting a 28.9% increase in sales compared to Q1 2020, while in Q2 sales started growing quickly, reporting a 42.1% increase in sales with 5,255 units sold due to the incredibly low sales volume registered the previous year.

On the other hand, in Q3 sales remained flat (+0.2%) with just 5,215 units sold, while in Q4 sales rose again by 40.3% with 5,291 units sold.

Laos quarterly sales variation
Laos quarterly sales variation

Brand-wise, this year the leader Toyota (+51.5%) gained 6.9% market share, followed by Hyundai (+32.1%), which gained only 0.1% share. Ford (+33.6%) remained third and gained 0.2% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Toyota Hilux with 4,485 sales (+59.2%).