Overflowing with cars
Latest news is that both cars have arrived to Abidjan Port and the import process is underway. So it looks like they will make it before any import restrictions take effect.
The thing is, ex Prime Minister and ex Rebel Leader Guillaume Soro is to become Chairman of the Ivorian Parliament. There is a rule saying that the Chairman most be at least 40 years old, and Soro happens to be 39, so it’s looking like the Parliament elected in December is waiting for Soro to turn 40 to start sessions. Things like this happen when you have a culture that reveres old age, but is in turbulent times where coups, revolutions and wars propel young people to positions of power they wouldn’t otherwise reach.
No parliamentary sessions means that no import restrictions are enacted. It seems I’m not the only one taking advantage of this, as the Port of Abidjan is overflowing with cars and the import process takes longer than usual. I’m expecting it to take another 10 days or so to get the cars out.
Before any import restrictions are enacted (if they will be at all – it’s not written in stone yet), I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison of second hand car prices in the Ivory Coast vs Western Europe.
The largest used car sites I’ve found in the Ivory Coast are auto.ci and automobile.ci. For Europe Im using the pan-European site autoscout.eu. For each combination of model, year and fuel type there is usually one or a couple of cars on the Ivorian sites and several hundred on autoscout.eu, so I’ll be using the average asking price on the Ivorian sites, and median asking price from autoscout.eu
Toyota Corollas, asking prices as of 18/03/2012:
Fuel | Year | I. Coast Price | I. Coast Price | Europe Price
Diesel | 1990 | 1.8M F CFA | 2,744 EUR | 990 EUR
Petrol | 1992 | 2.8M F CFA | 4,268 EUR | 1,350 EUR
Petrol | 1995 | 2.8M F CFA | 4,268 EUR | 1,450 EUR
Petrol | 1996 | 4.0M F CFA | 6,098 EUR | 1,550 EUR
Diesel | 1997 | 4.5M F CFA* | 6,860 EUR | 1,825 EUR
Diesel | 1998 | 3.0M F CFA | 4,573 EUR | 2,300 EUR
Petrol | 1998 | 2.99M F CFA | 4,558 EUR | 2,290 EUR
Petrol | 2000 | 3.8M F CFA | 5,793 EUR | 2,699 EUR
Diesel | 2001 | 4.1M F CFA* | 6,250 EUR | 2,500 EUR
Petrol | 2002 | 4.5M F CFA | 6,859 EUR | 5,690 EUR
Petrol | 2003 | 6.0M F CFA | 9,146 EUR | 6,250 EUR
Petrol | 2007 | 7.0M F CFA | 10,671 EUR | 12,450 EUR
Petrol | 2009 | 7.68M F CFA | 11,707 EUR | 14,800 EUR
Cars marked with * are diesels with 4 doors and thus suitable for taxi use, something that I believe warrants a premium in the Ivory Coast. An exception could be for the 2000 and 2001 models which have Peugeot engines as the Toyota engines didn’t meet EU emission regulations. The Toyotas Im sending happen to have Peugeot engines – I wasn’t quite aware of this issue when I bought them (another rookie mistake). I have heard that Peugeot engines don’t last as long (2 years or so) for taxi use in Abidjan, but I shall see.
There is a big premium on cars in the Ivory Coast as expected, and it’s mainly due to import duties. The surprise here is that for newer cars there seem to be a discount in the Ivory Coast. Not quite sure why this is, and if there really is a discount – it’s only based on a handful of datapoints. The set of people who deal with very new cars are a wealthy small minority. Maybe asymmetrical information comes into play, if you are selling a relatively new car that you have imported recently to Abidjan, there’s got to be something wrong with it.
Let’s look at another popular car in Abidjan:
Toyota RAV4, asking prices as of 18/03/2012:
Year | I. Coast Price | I. Coast Price | Europe Price
1993 | 3.5M F CFA | 5,335 EUR | None
1995 | 4.0M F CFA | 6,098 EUR | 3,490 EUR
1996 | 4.05M F CFA | 6,174 EUR | 3,500 EUR
2001 | 7.0M F CFA | 10,671 EUR | 7,450 EUR
2002 | 6.85M F CFA | 10,442 EUR | 7,945 EUR
2004 | 6.1M F CFA | 9,299 EUR | 9,900 EUR
2006 | 13M F CFA | 19,817 EUR | 14,900 EUR
2008 | 12.5M F CFA | 19,207 EUR | 17,990 EUR
2010 | 18M F CFA | 27,439 EUR | 24,000 EUR
Ok, here the Ivory Coast premium includes the newest cars. It could be a fluke for the Corollas.