In Bolivia, roughly 2 million cars are circulating the country, and also hundreds of brands, most of them from Asia, but despite the country being still poor, major well-known brands like Toyota, Nissan, and Suzuki currently dominate the Bolivian car market.
In Bolivia, the most sold car brand is Suzuki, which accounts for 30% of the total market, followed by Toyota, with around 15% of the total market share, and finally by Nissan, which gets around 10%. There are also tens of Chinese car brands and Ford, both having a significant presence in the market.
In this note, we’ll talk about the 5 top sold car brands sold in our country, Bolivia, with many details about each of them, also why they’re preferred over other worldwide well-known car brands, the recent eruption of Chinese cars in the country, among other details.
The top 5 sold car brands in Bolivia as for 2022
According to the Bolivian Car Association director (interview: translated) and also our knowledge and experience here in Bolivia, the following are the top 5 sold car brands in the country.
Suzuki is by far the most-sold car brand here, nearly 3 of 10 cars of Bolivia are from this brand (roughly 30% of the market share). When you walk over the streets, you will see a lot of SUVs, minivans, sedans, in general, family cars, and for the city, everywhere from this brand. But for other types of cars, like trucks, pickups, taxis, and buses, other brands like Ford and Toyota are preferred.
Suzuki, which by the way is not present in the US, is the most preferred car brand in Bolivia because it has very affordable prices, being around 20% to 30% less expensive, together with wide availability of car auto parts, many car dealers spread across the country and many car repair points. But it also offers significantly less quality than an average car in a first-world country.
Bolivian people prefer Suzuki because of the price and also because cars of this company are made for the country, with less tech, fewer quality materials, less safeness, etcetera (Bolivian laws don’t require too much in these areas), but a better price, also a design for more rugged and rural terrains.
Suzuki is currently commercialized by Imcruz in Bolivia, one of the principal car dealers that operate in the country.
Toyota is the 2nd preferred (around 15% of the market share) car in Bolivia because of its good quality and wide support across the country. Bolivian people who weigh quality over quantity, generally go for a Toyota. This brand also enjoys good reselling prices even after 10-15 years, with principal used models never going down below $5,000.
Toyota also offers a wide range of car models in the country, but it’s more preferred for sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, pickups, SUVs, and compact cars, Toyota’s Hilux, Corolla, Rav-4, Aqya, and 4×4 models are countless outside, high-income Bolivians always prefer to buy a Toyota whenever they can, because they know about its quality.
Toyosa is the exclusive car dealer for Toyota in Bolivia and has been praised several times for being one of the best and largest companies in the country. But anyways, Toyota cars here are not as high quality as in the first world, most of the cars imported here have been made in Mexico, India, etcetera but not in either the US or Japan.
Nissan also has a lot of popularity in Bolivia, it offers a wide availability of auto parts and car repair shops across the country, it’s a well-known brand here and has been present for at least 3 decades having that status. Cars of this brand are significantly cheaper than other similar worldwide brands like Toyota or Ford, also offering a good cost/quality relationship.
This brand currently gets around 20% of the Bolivian car market, is present with many different models, and is commercialized by its own car shops located within the country.
4) Chinese brands
Since 2010, the imports of Chinese cars have been rising steadily, to the point that nowadays, nearly 10% of the car market share corresponds to these brands. Chinese car brands are a lot, several tens of them are currently circulating within the country.
Bolivians tend to buy these cars because they are less expensive, around 30% less than for example Toyota. But these cars have a low quality in general and their reselling price drops very rapidly each year. They also lack a good support ecosystem across the country, and it is more difficult to find auto parts for these brands. So in recent years, their market growth has been stanked.
Ford in Bolivia is preferred over other brands for more specialized car types, like trucks, vans, 4×4 cars, etcetera, because of its quality, and composes around 3% to 5% of the total market share, it also has built a good reputation in Bolivia. People here tend to believe this car brand has great quality for non-mainstream models.
Also, this brand in the country has a good reselling price, providing good support regarding auto parts and repair car shops around the country.
The most sold car type in Bolivia
In Bolivia, most roads and highways are not in really good condition, with many dirt roads, puddles, rocky roads, and also a lot of rugged lands, valleys, canyons, and rural areas, everywhere. So, because of these situations, Bolivians tend to search for cars with better engines and multiple uses, cars that can work on these types of roads and terrains.
Another variable that Bolivians take into account when they choose their cars is the income they have. Most families, even the wealthy ones (>$1,500/month), can’t afford to buy more than one car, so they need to buy a vehicle that can work in different situations and for different purposes, even for work while also for family and traveling.
This is why most city cars, sedans, and compact cars, are not really the most chosen options. Instead, the most chosen options are SUVs, pickups, minivans, and family cars.
We have a complete guide about which are the most common car models and types in Bolivia, with all the facts about why they are the most preferred, their advantages and disadvantages, among other details: The most common cars in Bolivia, a complete overview. Link
Same car brands don’t have the same quality in Bolivia
To be able to sell units inside the country, the most important car brands, like Toyota, Ford, Honda, Nissan, etcetera, need to lower their car costs, Bolivian importing taxes are near to 30%, and with adding other fees, even more. So for example, a car made in the US may cost $25,000 in that country, but to import this car to Bolivia, you will end up paying around $33,000, making it almost impossible to sell to Bolivian customers.
To avoid this, the car needs to cost around $25,000 in Bolivia, including all the taxes and additional fees of importing. To get into this price, car companies lower their car quality in order to get lower costs. That’s why in the country, you will see that most cars of Toyota, Ford, Nissan, etcetera, have been made in countries like Brazil, Mexico, or India rather than in Japan, Canada, or the United States.
So at the end of the day, in Bolivia, you’ll get a car with significantly less quality than in the first world, a car made for developing countries, like Bolivia, which will bring you less functionality overall in safety, tech, lasting life, etcetera.
In Bolivia, if you want to buy a car with the same quality as in the US or Europe, you’ll need to buy from specialized car dealers, but they will charge you 30% to 50% more for this car than its price in the US.
In this guide about the top-sold car brands in Bolivia, you have seen that 3 well-known brands share the biggest part of the car market in the country. These brands are Suzuki, Toyota, and Nissan. Following these, there are tens of Chinese cars and also Ford.
Suzuki has a price a lot cheaper for good quality, with around 30% of the market, followed by Toyota, preferred mainly for its quality and for the good support it offers across the country, with around 15% of the market. Finally, Nissan, which is a classic well-known brand in Bolivia and also it has a good cost-quality relationship, with around 10% of the market.
You also have seen that after these 3 car brands, other Chinese brands, together, compose around 10% of the car market. Finally, in the fifth position you have Ford, with around 3%-5% of the market, being the go-to brand for non-mainstream models, for its perceived quality and also because the brand itself has a good reputation in Bolivia.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know more about how much a car costs in Bolivia, with all the details for prices for the different brands, also other costs like gas, car renting, etcetera, visit our dedicated guide in the following direction: How much does a car cost in Bolivia? All the facts and numbers.
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