Uganda 2020. Vehicles market falls 29% after reaching the record sales in the previous year

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Uganda car market
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson

Uganda vehicles market falls due to the global pandemic affecting sales. Indeed, Full Year 2020 sales have been 1.815, down 29% compared to 2019. Toyota keeps gaining market share despite the 19.4% drop in sales.

Economic Environment

Economic conditions likely improved in the third quarter, after GDP contracted in the second on the fallout from the pandemic. Economic activity gained notable momentum in Q3 on average, while exports and imports grew strongly after a sharp decrease in Q2, suggesting that both foreign and domestic demand strengthened in the period amid the further easing of restrictions.

Turning to Q4, in October, the private sector PMI climbed to its highest level since the breakout of the pandemic, highlighting a sharp improvement in business conditions as further restrictions were removed. Consequently, output continued to expand, leading to higher employment levels and boding well for private consumption in turn.

Additionally, more measures were lifted on 14 November, which should support activity going forward; however, domestic and global Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Market Trend

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

In 2017, total vehicle sales have been 2.193 (-8.9%) while in 2018 marginally recovered with 2.231 units sold (+2.1%).

The new vehicle market has hit the record of the decade in 2019 after a tough period. Indeed, the market is still really limited, representing only a marginal quota on the import of vehicles, and there are no signs of Government actions to limit the import of exhaust and obsolete used-vehicles. Additionally, an improved economic environment is not enough to sustain private consumer demand, considering the very low pro capita income. In 2019, they reached a peak of 2.555 units (including HCVs), soaring 14.5% from the previous year, hitting the highest volume of the entire decade.

Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 1.815, reporting a 29% decrease compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the leader Toyota (-19.4%) gained 4.7% market share, followed by Nissan (-31.4%), which lost 0.7% share. Tata (-37.8%) was in the third position and lost 1.5% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Toyota Hilux with 303 sales (-27.9%), holding 16.7% market share.