The Rides of All 197 World Leaders

Djibouti’s whitewalled Hummer.

When you watch the world news on TV, you’re probably looking to see what kind of car that obscure president/prime minister is riding in.  We all know about Obama’s Cadillac and China’s Hongqi, but what about the other 195 world leaders (193 U.N. member states, plus Palestine, Taiwan, the Vatican, and Kosovo)?

Well, in 2007 and 2008 (and briefly in 2011 thanks to the addition of South Sudan as a new country), I summoned the collective power of about a half-dozen search engines (and an email exchange with the editor of the largest newspaper in the Federated States of Micronesia) and came up with this list.  Compiling this was fun, frustrating, and eye-numbing. 

East Timor’s Prime Minister needs to uparmor his Land Cruiser, stat.

Without further ado, here is the final tally:

Mercedes S-Class (61 countries), Toyota Land Cruiser (23), BMW 7-Series (16), Audi A8 (11), Cadillac (7), Maybach (6), GM Suburban/Yukon/Escalade (6), Mitsubishi Montero/Pajero (4), VW Phaeton (4), Mercedes G-wagen (4), Holden/Chevy/Opel (4), Hummer H2 (3), Toyota Crown (3), Lincoln (3), Jaguar (2), ZIL (2), Volvo (2), VW Touareg (2), Mercedes E-Class (2), Lancia (2).

The following cars each showed up just once on the list: Hyundai, Skoda, Audi A6, Peugeot, Renault, VW van, London taxi, Daimler, Toyota Century, Hongqi, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ford Fairlane, Aston Martin, SEAT, Ford Expedition, Nissan Patrol, Stutz, Suzuki, Toyota Camry, Toyota Sequoia, Proton, Land Rover, Ford F150, Mitsubishi Galant, Hummer H1, Chrysler Imperial, Mitsubishi L200 pick-up, Mazda truck, Hyundai Tuscon.

The ratio of cars versus trucks/SUVs was 143 to 54.  By nationality, there were 109 German vehicles, 38 Japanese, 27 “Other”, and 23 American.

Peru’s president was doing some spring cleaning and decided to get rid of this Imperial

Here is the complete list.  The methodology is complicated.  Some countries have both a head of state and a head of government.  When possible, I chose the person with more power/notoriety.  Sometimes, a leader had multiple vehicles.  In that situation, I counted whatever vehicle I could verify with a photograph or news story. 

  1. Afghanistan: Toyota Land Cruiser
  2. Albania: Mercedes S-Class
  3. Algeria: Mercedes S-Class
  4. Andorra: Audi A8
  5. Angola: Mercedes G-wagen
  6. Antigua and Barbuda: Mercedes S-Class
  7. Argentina: Audi A6
  8. Armenia: BMW 7-Series
  9. Australia: Golden Statesman
  10. Austria: Audi A8
  11. Azerbaijan: Mercedes S-Class
  12. Bahamas: Cadillac DTS
  13. Bahrain: Maybach
  14. Bangladesh: Mitsubishi Pajero
  15. Barbados: Mitsubishi Pajero
  16. Belarus: Mercedes S-Class
  17. Belgium: Audi A8
  18. Belize: Toyota Camry
  19. Benin: Toyota Land Cruiser
  20. Bhutan: Toyota Land Cruiser
  21. Bolivia: BMW 7-Series
  22. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Audi A8
  23. Botswana: Bentley Arnage
  24. Brazil: Chevy Omega
  25. Brunei: Rolls-Royce
  26. Bulgaria: Mercedes S-Class
  27. Burkina Faso: Cadillac Escalade
  28. Burundi: Mercedes S-Class
  29. Cambodia: Mercedes S-Class
  30. Cameroon: Mercedes S-Class
  31. Canada: Lincoln Town Car
  32. Cape Verde: Mitsubishi Montero Sport
  33. Central African Republic: Toyota Land Cruiser
  34. Chad: Hummer H2
  35. Chile: Peugeot 607
  36. China: Hongqi
  37. Colombia: Toyota Land Cruiser
  38. Comoros: Mitsubishi L200 pick-up
  39. Congo, Democratic Republic of: Mercedes S-Class
  40. Congo, Republic of the: Mercedes S-Class
  41. Costa Rica: Land Rover LR3
  42. Croatia: BMW 7-Series
  43. Cuba: ZIL
  44. Cyprus: Mercedes S-Class
  45. Czech Republic: Skoda
  46. Denmark: Mercedes S-Class
  47. Djibouti: Hummer H1
  48. Dominica: Suzuki
  49. Dominican Republic: Toyota Land Cruiser
  50. East Timor: Toyota Land Cruiser
  51. Ecuador: Nissan Patrol
  52. Egypt: BMW 7-Series
  53. El Salvador: Toyota Sequoia
  54. Equatorial Guinea: Mercedes S-Class
  55. Eritrea: BMW 7-Series
  56. Estonia: Audi A8
  57. Ethiopia: Lincoln Town Car
  58. Federated States of Micronesia: Hyundai Tucson
  59. Fiji: Toyota Land Cruiser
  60. Finland: BMW 7-Series
  61. France: Renault Safrane Biturbo
  62. Gabon: Stutz Royale
  63. Gambia, The: Hummer H2
  64. Georgia: Mercedes S-Class
  65. Germany: VW Phaeton
  66. Ghana: Mercedes S-Class
  67. Guinea: Mercedes S-Class
  68. Guinea-Bissau: Toyota Land Cruiser
  69. Great Britain: Jaguar Super 8
  70. Greece: Mercedes S-Class
  71. Grenada: Mitsubishi Montero
  72. Guatemala: Toyota Land Cruiser
  73. Guyana: Toyota Land Cruiser
  74. Haiti: Chevy Suburban
  75. Honduras: Chevy Suburban
  76. Hungary: Audi A8
  77. Iceland: 1980s Cadillac
  78. India: BMW 7-Series
  79. Indonesia: Mercedes S-Class
  80. Iran: Mercedes S-Class
  81. Iraq: BMW 7-Series
  82. Ireland: Mercedes S-Class
  83. Israel: Volvo
  84. Italy: Lancia Thesis
  85. Ivory Coast: VW Touareg
  86. Jamaica: Volvo S80
  87. Japan: Toyota Century
  88. Jordan: Mercedes S-Class
  89. Kazakhstan: Mercedes S-Class
  90. Kenya: Mercedes S-Class
  91. Kiribati: Toyota Crown (educated guess)
  92. Korea, North: VW Phaeton
  93. Korea, South: Hyundai Equus
  94. Kosovo: VW Touareg
  95. Kuwait: Chevy Suburban
  96. Kyrgyzstan: Mercedes S-Class
  97. Laos: Mercedes S-Class
  98. Latvia: BMW 7-Series
  99. Lebanon: Mercedes S-Class
  100. Lesotho: Mercedes S-Class
  101. Liberia: Mercedes S-Class
  102. Libya: Mercedes S-Class
  103. Liechtenstein: Audi A8
  104. Lithuania: Mercedes S-Class
  105. Luxembourg: Mercedes S-Class
  106. Macedonia: Mercedes S-Class
  107. Madagascar: Mercedes S-Class
  108. Malawi: Toyota Land Cruiser
  109. Malaysia: Proton
  110. Maldives: Mercedes S-Class
  111. Mali: Hummer H2
  112. Malta: Cadillac CTS
  113. Marshall Islands: Cadillac DTS
  114. Mauritania: Mercedes S-Class
  115. Mauritius: Aston Martin DB9
  116. Mexico: Chevy Suburban
  117. Moldova: Mercedes S-Class
  118. Monaco: Daimler
  119. Mongolia: Toyota Land Cruiser
  120. Montenegro: Audi A8
  121. Morocco: Mercedes S-Class
  122. Mozambique: Toyota Land Cruiser
  123. Myanmar: Toyota Land Cruiser
  124. Namibia: Toyota Land Cruiser
  125. Nauru: Mercedes E-Class
  126. Nepal: Jaguar
  127. Netherlands, The: BMW 7-Series
  128. New Zealand: Ford Fairlane
  129. Nicaragua: Mercedes G-wagen
  130. Niger: Toyota Land Cruiser
  131. Nigeria: Mercedes S-Class
  132. Norway: BMW 7-Series
  133. Oman: Maybach
  134. Pakistan: Mercedes S-Class
  135. Palau: Ford F150
  136. Palestine: Mercedes S-Class
  137. Panama: Toyota Land Cruiser
  138. Papua New Guinea: Mercedes E-Class
  139. Paraguay: GMC Yukon
  140. Peru: 1973 Chrysler New Yorker
  141. Philippines: Mercedes S-Class
  142. Poland: BMW 7-Series
  143. Portugal: VW Phaeton
  144. Qatar: Maybach
  145. Romania: Mercedes S-Class
  146. Russia: ZIL
  147. Rwanda: Mercedes G-wagen
  148. St. Kitts and Nevis: Toyota Crown Royal
  149. St. Lucia: BMW 7-Series
  150. St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Toyota Land Cruiser
  151. Samoa: Holden
  152. San Marino: Lancia Thesis
  153. Sao Tome e Principe: BMW 7-Series
  154. Saudi Arabia: Maybach
  155. Senegal: Ford Expedition
  156. Serbia: BMW 7-Series
  157. Seychelles: Toyota Land Cruiser
  158. Sierra Leone: Mercedes S-Class
  159. Singapore: Mercedes S-Class
  160. Slovakia: SEAT race car
  161. Slovenia: Audi A8
  162. Solomon Islands: Toyota Land Cruiser
  163. Somalia: Mercedes S-Class
  164. South Africa: Mercedes S-Class
  165. South Sudan: Toyota Land Cruiser
  166. Spain: Audi A8
  167. Sri Lanka: BMW 7-Series
  168. Sudan: Mercedes S-Class
  169. Suriname: Lincoln Continental
  170. Swaziland: Maybach
  171. Sweden: Mercedes S-Class
  172. Switzerland: Audi A8
  173. Syria: Toyota Land Cruiser
  174. Taiwan: Cadillac
  175. Tajikistan: Mercedes G-wagen
  176. Tanzania: Mercedes S-Class
  177. Thailand: VW T5 Eurovan
  178. Togo: Mercedes S-Class
  179. Tonga: London taxi
  180. Trinidad & Tobago
  181. Tunisia: Mercedes S-Class
  182. Turkey: Mercedes S-Class
  183. Turkmenistan: Mercedes S-Class
  184. Tuvalu: Mazda truck
  185. Uganda: Mercedes S-Class
  186. Ukraine: Mercedes S-Class
  187. United Arab Emirates: Maybach
  188. U.S.A.: Cadillac
  189. Uruguay: Chevy/Holden/Opel Vectra
  190. Uzbekistan: Mercedes S-Class
  191. Vanuatu: Mitsubishi Galant
  192. Vatican, The: VW Phaeton
  193. Venezuela: Cadillac Fleetwood
  194. Vietnam: Toyota Crown
  195. Yemen: Mercedes S-Class
  196. Zambia: Mercedes S-Class
  197. Zimbabwe: Mercedes S-Class Pullman

Here is China’s Hu Jintao reviewing the troops in his very snazzy Hongqi:

Source of Djibouti’s Hummer image: Saharan Vibe

Source of East Timor’s Land Cruiser image: ABC

Source of Peru’s Chrysler Imperial image: Imperial Club

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