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Vast as it is, Africa is now one of the very few places in the world where a market for autos exists. However, finding something handy for the terrain and the African weather was a challenge for a long time but the good thing is that now, a solution has been found in the East. Or should we say in the Far East? Still struggling to find its feet after emerging from colonialism (by the West of course) it seemed as if Africa would never decide what she needed. Thankfully, the solution for the roads of this hulking continent lies in the Far East.
What are the top autos for Africa? That is obvious, but there is a wide variety. One thing that all the vehicles have in common is that they are from the Far East. Ok there will be a German, British, Swedish or even an American car, but the dominant car is Japanese. Japanese autos have simply carved themselves a niche in Africa. They have won the hearts of many people. From the farm workhorse to the luxury town car, Toyota, for example, is leading. It is synonymous with durability, endurance and in fact, the trucks bearing this brand name are the perfect beasts on the road.
Some of the other brand names popular in Africa include Isuzu. Now, this brand name has dominated the roads, especially the trucking and load movement. Seemingly, in every five vehicles that you notice on the road, four of them are bound to be Japanese. The variety is amazing because under one brand name, you are likely to find trucks, pickup trucks, sedans, wagons, vans, limos and more, all bearing the same brand name. Ok, some of them might be fuel guzzlers, but again, one has to concede that they cannot be compared to their European counterparts.
Other Far East brands that take the lead in Africa include the Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Mitsubishi, Daewoo and many others. While there might be a few models from Korea and China, Japan ultimately takes the lead in Africa.
So why is the race for the best autos headed east? You may ask. The reasons are pretty obvious for anyone who cares to look closely. Here, we outline just a few of them:
- Low cost – With many of the African nations recovering from colonialism, neo-colonialism and from bad politics, the people look for the most affordable brands in the market, and this is where the Far East comes in.
- Low fuel consumption – Compared to their European counterparts, the Japanese autos, for example, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota consume just a fraction of what their counterparts consume in Europe. At the same time, they also do the same amount of work.
- The Terrain – The vehicles seem to know the terrain very well. In fact, they are used for just about anything. For example, in East Africa, the armed forces use Toyota trucks and cars. they are very efficient
- Sustainability – Their spare parts are readily available, shipped together with the vehicles and most important, they are very affordable. This improves sustainability.
It is not only Africa that is headed East, but so is Europe and America. For example, majority of the hybrid cars in North America today are Japanese.