Tanzania 2020. Vehicles market grows despite pandemic after reaching decade-low volumes the previous year

Tanzania car market
The 2020 Mazda 2

Tanzanian Vehicles Market rebounds despite the global pandemic after reaching a decade-low sales volume in 2019. Indeed, Full Year 2020 sales have 2.015, up 5.3% compared to the previous year. Toyota consolidates leadership and gains 0.8% share.

Economic Environment

The economy likely remained downbeat in Q3, despite the lifting of all domestic restrictions in July. The external sector continued to suffer as exports decreased again in annual terms in September, mostly on drop-in service receipts.

Meanwhile, imports also fell, suggesting that domestic demand remained frail. On the other hand, credit growth picked up pace in the same month, boosted by the Central Bank’s accommodative policy, which should have supported domestic demand somewhat. In politics, incumbent president Magufuli won a second term in the elections held on 28 October, which should lead to policy stability and a continued focus on boosting the economy after the pandemic-induced downturn.

Nevertheless, opposition parties called for protests amid claims of voting irregularities, fueling tensions within the country, which could weigh on investor sentiment going forward.

Market Trend

The Tanzanian car market grew slightly in 2020 despite the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new light vehicles market in Tanzania is stable in the range between the 2.000 and the 3.000 annual units, still penalized by the easy access of imported used vehicles.

In the last decade, the market performed between the lower peak of 2.035 units in 2016 and the higher of 3.314 in 2013, with 2018 at 2.258 units.  In 2019 the light vehicles market has lost 20.2%, mainly due to a very low Q4, ending the year with only 1.914 sales, the lowest level since 2010.

After such low sales the previous year, Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 2.015, reporting a 5.3% increase compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the leader Toyota (+8.3%) gained 0.8% market share, followed by Nissan (+7.7%), which gained 0.3% share. Ford (+8.5%) remained third and gained 0.5% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Toyota Hilux with 285 sales (+11.8%), holding a growing 14.1% market share.