Car News:  Oversteer

Africa Is Amazingly Full of Exported American-Market Cars

RELATED READING
See all Honda Accord articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2018

I recently went to Lagos, which is the capital of Nigeria and also one of the largest cities on Earth. To be clear, I did not personally go to Lagos, but instead I visited the city on Google Street View during an immense period of personal boredom. I spent about an hour roaming the city, and looking at stuff, and something interesting hit me: they're driving our cars.

Really, though -- they are. If you spend more than a few minutes on Google Street View of Lagos -- or most African cities, for that matter -- you'll quickly discover that an enormous portion of the vehicles, likely more than half, is comprised of used cars exported from North America. In the photos above, you can easily see what I mean: U.S.-market Toyota Sienna, U.S.-market Honda Accord. There's a Toyota Matrix, a Nissan Altima, a Subaru Outback -- even a Toyota Solara in one of the photos. As it turns out, African cars are, in large part, U.S.-market cars.

There are, of course, a few good reasons for this. A primary one is the fact that much of Africa doesn't have a new car market, on account of the price of new vehicles -- but Africans still need cars, of course. So without local new cars to purchase cheaply as used cars, they import them from foreign countries.

But why North America? That, too, has a good answer: Owing to the lack of parts support and dealership networks, the top priority of Africans when buying used cars is reliability -- and that means they want Japanese cars. Even though Europe is much closer to Africa (and, therefore, shipping used cars should be cheaper), Japanese cars are still relatively rare in Europe. In North America, Japanese cars are common, which is why so many are brought over from the states. Fuel plays a role, too: Most European cars are diesel-powered, while Africa (like North America) primarily runs on traditional gasoline.

The sheer number of North American cars in Lagos (and in other African cities) is so substantial that I honestly wonder what effect it has on the price of used Japanese cars in North America. These cars are usually purchased at wholesale auction and then sent to Africa, meaning the pool of used Japanese cars available for Americans is shrinking -- which could be one major reason why used Japanese cars are more expensive here in North America than their foreign or domestic counterparts. With that said, Americans also prioritize reliability, which is another reason why Japanese cars command higher prices.

But I think the African market plays a role, too -- and if you spend more than a few minutes on Street View in Lagos, you'll surely see familiar minivans and crossovers that once brought suburb-dwelling American kids to soccer practice and piano lessons, now doing their duties on the rutted roads of Nigeria.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
The Early Chrysler LX Cars Aren't Aging Well
Video | Here's Why the BMW i3 Isn't Worth $50,000
Here Are the Cheapest Electric Cars For Sale on Autotrader

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Africa Is Amazingly Full of Exported American-Market Cars - Autotrader