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Zambia 2020. Vehicle market plummets almost 60% in Year to Date September sales

Zambian vehicles market keeps a very negative trend in 2020, with all brands reporting double-digit losses. Indeed, 119 units have been sold in September (-57.7%), leading Year to Date sales at 1.011 (-59.8%). Toyota dominates with 42% market share.
Economic Environment
Recently-released GDP data revealed that the economy contracted 2.1% in annual terms in Q2 (Q1: -0.3% year-on-year) as the Covid-19 fallout hammered activity in the construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors. Moving forward, although some positive signs have emerged, the recovery seemingly remains subdued.
Despite bouncing back solidly in September, the private sector PMI was still below February’s pre-pandemic levels and in contractionary mode throughout Q3. Encouragingly, however, merchandise exports soared in July–August on improving demand and prices for copper.
Meanwhile, in late September, both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings downgraded the country’s credit rating to CCC- and C, respectively, amid the increased possibility of default following the government’s request to bondholders to delay debt payments.
Market Trend in September
After averaging a 60% decrease in sales in the past year, the Zambian vehicle market did not improve much in September. In fact, 119 units were sold (-57.7%), leading Year to Date sales at 1.011, a 59.8% decrease compared to the previous year.
Brand wise, all brands report double-digit losses, while the market leader Toyota holds 42% of market share, followed by Isuzu with 10.9% and Nissan with 10.7%.
Medium-Term Market Trend
Zambia’s new vehicles market in recent years have shown a trend not correlated with the official economic index, growing when the economy was suffering and falling when the economy was recovering. This unusual correlation with the domestic economy is probably depending on the strong import of used vehicles (near 90% of total new vehicles registered each year). When the economy pushes up the demand for vehicles, people buy more vehicles in the low price range (used) while when purchase power is limited, only the upper class and government agencies keep purchasing vehicles.
After three consecutive years of growth, in 2019 the market fell sharply down. Indeed, Full-year registrations have been 3.376, down 12.5%.
In the First Half of 2020 sales plummeted, only 673 units were sold, a 60% decrease compared to the previous year.
Tables with sales figures
In the tables below we report sales for the Top 10 Brands

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