Top Export Markets for Vehicles

Mufaddal K.

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If you are a vehicle manufacturer looking to expand internationally, identifying the right countries to target internationally can be difficult.  This article analyzes import volumes for these products for different countries between 2012 and 2016.  Based on this analysis we identify the fastest growing and largest export markets for these products to help you prioritize your international expansion strategies.


The data in this analysis is from the International Trade Centre (ITC).  It is limited to the following product categories as categorized by the ITC:

Product Group 8432 (Agricultural, horticultural or forestry machinery for soil preparation)

Product Group 8433 (Harvesting, agricultural or threshing machinery)

Product Group 86 (Railway or tramway locomotives, fixtures and fittings)

Product Group 8701 (Tractors)

Product Group 8702 (Motor vehicles for the transport of >= 10 persons)

Product Group 8703 (Motor cars designed for the transport of persons)

Product Group 8704 (Motor vehicles for the transport of goods)

Product Group 8705 (Special purpose motor vehicles)

Product Group 8706 (Chassis fitted with engines)

Product Group 8707 (Vehicle bodies)

Product Group 8709 (Works trucks used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports)

Product Group 8710 (Tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles)

Product Group 8711 (Motor-cycles, mopeds and side-cars)

Product Group 8712 (Bicycles and other cycles)

Product Group 8713 (Carriages for disabled persons)

Product Group 8715 (Baby carriages)

Product Group 8716 (Trailers and semi-trailers)

Product Group 89 (Ships, boats and floating structures)




Vehicle Imports Analysis by Region



We can see that the largest import market for these products is Europe & Central Asia (approximately US$ 485 billion in 2016).  Average annual import growth between 2012 and 2016 was also positive in this region.  This means entering the market and gaining share could be relatively easier.  In addition, North America also showed strong growth during this time period with substantial import volume.  Targeting this region as well could be beneficial. 


Targeting countries in your own region of the world first is sometimes the easiest way to start growing intentionally.  We now focus on each one of these regions individually to understand what countries might be your best targets for international expansion.  High import volume and high year over year import growth are two metrics you want to continue focusing on when looking at countries within a specific region.




Vehicle Imports Analysis for East Asia & Pacific Countries



Within East Asia & Pacific, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are China, Australia, Marshall Islands, Japan and South Korea.  Marshall Islands and South Korea have strong import growth as well.  In addition, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and New Zealand have high growth in imports making them great targets for expansion.




Vehicle Imports Analysis for Europe & Central Asia Countries



Within Europe & East Asia, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Germany, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Netherlands.  All of these countries also have positive year over year import growth.  In addition, Poland, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Portugal, Ireland, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania and Slovak Republic have high growth in imports although limited volume.




Vehicle Imports Analysis for Latin America & Caribbean Countries



Within Latin America & Caribbean, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Cayman Islands and The Bahamas.  Import growth in Mexico, Panama, Cayman Islands and The Bahamas has also been strong.  In addition, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Cuba, Jamaica and El Salvador have all been posting high growth in imports as well.




Vehicle Imports Analysis for Middle East & North Africa Countries



Within the Middle East & North Africa, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt and Morocco.  Israel, Egypt and Morocco have strong growth in imports as well.  In addition, Bahrain, Jordan, Malta and Lebanon have had high growth in imports although limited volume.




Vehicle Imports Analysis for North America Countries



Within North America, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are the United States and Canada.  The United States also has strong year over year import growth.  




Vehicle Imports Analysis for South Asia Countries



Within South Asia, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  Pakistand and Sri Lanka have had quite strong year over year growth in imports as well.  In addition, Nepal has had high growth in imports although limited volume.




Vehicle Imports Analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa Countries



Within Sub-Saharan Africa, the countries with the highest volume of imports in 2016 are Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Republic of Congo, Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania.  Import growth in Ethiopia has also been strong.  In addition, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Benin have high growth in imports although limited volume.




Getting Serious About Expanding Internationally?


Analyzing data is the first step to building a strategic plan for international expansion.  Once you've identified your potential target countries for expansion, you can use our online platform to find local partners in those countries.  Learn more about our platform here and then signup to add your products, set your partnership terms and review partnership offers you'll start receiving from local partners.