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Global Top 10 Countries with highest growth rate in Calendar Year 2020 over 2019.

Countries with high growth rate in Calendar Year 2020 over 2019.

The entire world is in the vicious grip of the pandemic. The major economies of the world have all been particularly affected by the Pandemic and its terrible consequences on human lives and the economy, more severely than the rest.

However, there have been a few countries, silver linings even in these times. We have a look at the 10 Countries which have braved the pandemic and registered growth despite of the heavy odds.

We will also try to understand the possible reasons for their growth. The countries are :

Turkey: grew by 61%.

Turkey is a country that is wedged between the two great continents of Asia and Europe. It has a population of 84 million. The industry volumes grew to 772,788 nos in 2020. It is a member of the European Union and considered as a European Nation for analysis. Turkey ended 2020 on a positive note despite the various impediments of the Pandemic as also a floundering economy due to a weak currency, high inflation, etc.

Passenger cars sold in 2020 were 6,10,109 units – up 57.6% over 2019.

And Light Commercial Vehicles sold 1,62,679 units – up 77.2% over 2019.

Turkey is home to 9 major OEMs.

In Europe, it holds the 2nd rank in commercial vehicle production, 5th in Automotive production list, 15th biggest global automotive production list.

Among the many plausible reasons why Turkey was able to perform better than the other bigger European economies could possibly be the fact that Covid 19 reached the country in late March – when it had already wreaked havoc in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and the UK since January 2020.

Turkey also closed borders with its Covid 19 affected Asian neighbor, Iran, very early. It also stopped flight operations to 68 countries very early, to limit the spread of infection.

The government imposed a lockdown from March 2020, especially for the vulnerable 65+ years age group. The country was able to prepare its major economic contributors including Auto Industry and Tourism for facing the Pandemic.

Auto Industry in Turkey, 5th largest in Europe, may have also indirectly benefited from the surging pandemic in the other Major Auto economies of Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Spain: as more than 85% of the Auto Manufacturing in Turkey is export-oriented.

Turkey could learn and put in place safety measures very early. Continental Countries.

To put things in perspective: for Jan to Nov, sales dropped to 9 million units - a crash by 25.5% in Europe: 35.3% in Spain, 29% in Italy,26.9% in France, 21.6% in Germany and 30% in Britain (its biggest annual drop since 1943)

The Auto Industry also benefited due to disruption in manufacturing and supplies in other parts of Europe and Asia. The stock at Dealerships dwindled, helping the OEMs to replenish stock during the last quarter. The initiative of the Turkish Government to introduce low-interest loans from June 2020, for new and used passenger cars also helped in keeping the sales momentum high.

Kazakhstan : Grew by 24%

Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked and ninth largest country in the World: having a land area that is more than that of Western Europe. However, its population is only 19 Million. (Due to the vastness of the country, the Covid 19 infection has not affected the country much.) The Industry Size in 2020 was 77,000 units. This makes most of the country largely empty, public transport is hence unviable and personal transport essential.

It is a strong economy potential driven by Engineering, Oils, Minerals, Energy Sources (Natural Gases), Agriculture and is registering continuous growth in the economy since 2004, every year, making it one of the largest economies of Central Asia, despite its low population,

The Kazakh Government, since 2005 has been focussing on the Automobile industry to drive growth in its sector as also serve for driving demand and growth for the other sourcing industries including metals, mining, and transportation.

This has meant that the Automobile industry is included in the list of priority areas for industrial development, There is consistent state support for the Auto Industry.

In 2010, the share of domestic cars sold was only 26%. Today it is around 60%.

The Govt gives various stimuli including VAT preferences, the introduction of recycling fees, easy loans, leasing programs, etc to increase production and exports. Major brands including JAC, Hyundai, IVECO, ANKAI, and many others are now present in the country.

The last two 5 year periods have seen the volumes grow up by 12.5 times. Heavy investments are being planned by the Auto Majors including Hyundai for Commercial Vehicle components and Whole Vehicle manufacturing and assemblies. The Government is planning for increasing production to 100,000 cars: exports will account for 10,000 cars. The export markets will be Russia and the Central Asian Republics.

All these measures are contributing to exponential growth in Kazhakstan. The challenge is its small population and heavy dependence on exports to the very vast Russia and Central Asian Republics.

Zimbabwe: 21% growth

Zimbabwe is a small landlocked country with a population of 14 Million. The Auto Industry size is 2,603 nos. The country is floundering with heavy inflation, shrinking agriculture (15% decline), and poor performance in mining, tourism. The country has been affected by Political strife, and this is now subsiding due to the recent death of its erstwhile President Mr.Robert Mugabe. Not much can be read into its Auto Industry performance in the midst of its other crisis.

Turkmenistan: 17% growth

Turkmenistan is the landlocked Central Asian Republic with a population of 6 million. It shares a long border with Kazakhstan. The Auto Industry's size dropped to 600 nos in 2020. Only Silver and White-colored cars are allowed in the country. All cars that had been colored in black and other dark colors were seized, and the owners fined 1 year's salary and also have the cars repainted in white and silver.

The small size of the Industry makes the accurate reading of Growth reasons difficult.

The Covid19 data reported is suspected to be grossly underreported and the pandemic situation is out of control.


It is a nation on the island of Borneo. It is surrounded by Malaysia and the South China sea. Its total population is 4.5 Lakh. The Auto Industry in Brunei is 12,000 units per year. Despite of the Pandemic, the market grew. Toyota is the dominant player. The small size of the Auto Industry means its effect on the Global Auto picture is very minimal.


An ancient civilization and a modern nation are how Egypt can be described today. It links the Middle East with North East Africa. The country has a population of around 100 million: 14th most populous in the World. The Auto Industry's size was around 2,27,000 in 2020.

Egypt too had been affected severely by the Pandemic. The first wave affected it very badly during the period June - July 2020 and later tailed off. The second wave hit the country again during early 2021. However, the situation seems to be now under control. The tourism sector has been reopened with strict regulations and controls.

The plausible reasons for Auto Industry growth in Egypt are :

  • The large population offers potential for local consumption and growth.

  • The per capita car ownership in Egypt is much lower (around 35 cars per 1000 ppl) than even its neighbors: Algeria is around 130 cars per 1000 people.

  • The presence of more than 80 Auto Majors and a large number of Auto Component Manufacturers makes the Auto Industry a major contributor to the company's GDP.

However, the pressures of an inflationary economy devalued currency, high interest rates continue to put pressure on the economy.

Tunisia :

It is the northernmost country in Africa and a part of the Maghreb region

It has a human population of around 11 million.

The Auto Industry of Tunisia is around 70,000 units per year. Tunisia is the 5th largest market for Automobiles in Africa. The country has been identified as an area of high growth and potential for the Auto Industry. European Brands dominate in the country. However, American and Asian Brands too have a substantial presence. EV technology is making inroads in the country.

Policies by the Government to encourage the establishment of local manufacturing, not allowing importing vehicles aged more than 5 years, and differential high taxes on importing of higher cc vehicles has helped in contributing to the growth of the Industry. Rationalizing taxes on locally manufactured vehicles has helped in making them competitive when competing with Foreign Cars.

Nationalizing the assets of the erstwhile President Ben Ali’s assets has also brought order in the Distribution network.

South Korea

It is an Asian Auto Giant alongside China, Japan.. Its human population is 52 million, with more than 50% living in its capital city Seoul. The Auto Industry volumes were 35L in 2020.

By GDP, it is the tenth biggest country in the World and heavily urbanized. It ranks 7th on Human Development Index. The country has a large manufacturing base and the World’s fifth largest exporter and 8th largest importer.

South Korea's automobile industry is No.5 for the production of passenger cars in the world: contributing to 13% of local manufacturing output and 12% of total employment in South Korea.

Hyundai, with Kia, is the biggest Auto manufacturer in South Korea. The country has been investing heavily in EVs as also the charging station. The aim is to reduce Greenhouse Gases emissions. South Korea has been able to flatten the Covid 19 curve most successfully. It learned from its previous experience of handling the MERS virus and took remedial action very quickly and effectively.

The country was able to manage to avoid lockdowns and curfews. The number of active cases is less than 80,000 now and the battle against the virus has been, can be said, won.


It is a landlocked locked country in South-Eastern Africa, with a population of 19 million. The Auto Industry is around 1,800 nos pa.

Malawi is one of the most promising and fastest-growing automobile markets in the region. Malawi's automobile industry is supported by multiple factors such as labor availability, R&D efforts, geographic advantage, and government support. With a positive outlook for the economy and greater household purchasing power, automobile sales in the country are set to witness a strong surge in sales by 2026.

New players continue to foray into the market, in particular in the low price vehicle segment with the number of sales increasing at robust growth rates. Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are also witnessing a steady increase in demand.

Covid 19 did affect the country but due to limited health facilities and citizens' fears on Covid 19, the number of cases reported could be largely unreported.

Taiwan :

Officially the Republic of China with a population of 2.36 crore. Around 4L cars are sold in Taiwan every year. Taiwan is a very significant player in the manufacture of Auto Parts and Components, with more than 75% of its products being exported to the US. There are more than 3000 Automotive related companies in Taiwan.

The country is also an important supplier to Tesla, with more than 75% of Tesla’s suppliers being from Taiwan. The country has a comprehensive supply chain for EVs and is an integral part of global supplies for EVs.

The Auto Parts manufacturers have invested heavily in excelling in automation, prototyping and today possess the flexibility to produce small-batch orders on short notice. They rely on exports for 75% of their business. These are mainly replacement parts for the aftermarket in the U.S. (43% of Taiwan’s auto parts exports), Europe, and Japan. Headlights and assorted parts, made in Taiwan, account for nearly 80% of the North American and European markets. China’s car manufacturing industry also depends on Auto Component manufacturers of Taiwan.

The Taiwan Government provides support through its institutes namely the Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC), Taiwan Auto Research Consortium (TARC), and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). ARTC is doing a lot of work in Automotive Intelligence by developing electronics systems for Automotive intelligence including Lane Keeping, Lane Departure, Warning on forwarding Collision, Blind Spot detection, etc.

The country is now also venturing into Auto Finance. The challenge to Taiwan is in its small geographical area and being swamped by its very very large neighbors: China, Japan, and Korea.

source: wikipedia/autoupdates/carindustryanalysis


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