Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by
Do you have the impression that the Brazilian president meets the
CEO of an automaker daily? Lately there have been a lot of
announcements that OEMs will start – or resume – production in
Brazil. This year, Honda and Mercedes-Benz announced new plants,
while Audi stated it is coming back to Brazil and making cars
in a VW plant where it built the A3 some years ago. VW confirmed it
is finally updating the locally made Golf (currently still in its
fourth generation). Last year, BMW announced its......
Monday, September 16, 2013 by
Brazil is waving goodbye to some of its oldest vehicles. Not
because OEMs have decided to drop them or because customers were
not going to the dealer network looking for them, but because all
vehicles sold in Brazil beginning January 1, 2014 must
have ABS and airbags. And some last-longing models simply
cannot comply with the rules. That is the case of the Volkswagen
Kombi, known as the Transporter T2 in the country. Made in
Brazil for the past 56 years, it was the first vehicle assembled...
Monday, July 22, 2013 by
If you follow my posts, you have read that there is not much logic
in Brazil's automotive market (if not, you can follow the link at
the bottom of the blog). Today, I will show that neighboring
Argentina faces the same problem. Argentina is struggling with
inflation. Last year, inflation was 10% according to the
government, but opposition in Congress says it was 25% – the
highest rate in South America and only behind Venezuela. The
government is known for reporting lower inflation and higher...
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by
Several protests took place in Brazil during the month of June.
Everything started with public transportation fares that were
increased, although the increases were less than $0.10. And even
after the increase was cancelled, protests kept going on, focusing
on corruption, the amount spent to build stadiums for the World
Cup, poor educational and health systems despite high taxes,
amongst other things. (For more about the protests, see the links
at the bottom of the blog.) Ironically, protests......
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 by
Tax incentives were very effective in 2012 and helped
Brazil reach a new sales record of 3,573,076 light vehicles.
With this success, Brazil remained the fourth largest
automotive market in the world, just behind China, the United
States and Japan. Polk's automotive forecast does include any
changes in this ranking in 2013 when sales in Brazil are
anticipated to reach 3.63 million light vehicles. However, Brazil's
importance declines when we analyze production numbers. Last
Friday, May 10, 2013 by
Since January, Mexico has been able to import American and
Canadian vehicles that are Model Year (MY) 2007 or older. Up until
December, the limit was MY04 or older and in 2009, it was MY99 or
older. In 2019, any used vehicle can be imported from the U.S. and
Canada, regardless of its age. This is not a new problem: in 2006
and 2007, Mexico imported more used vehicles then it sold new cars.
Although the imports cooled down last year, they gained strength
again earlier in 2013. There was an...
Monday, March 11, 2013 by
Venezuela was all over the news last week because of the death of
its president, Hugo Chávez. President Chávez passed away after a
battle against cancer, which included several surgeries in Cuba.
What the international media did not pay attention is to a law
approved in January that affects the automotive industry. How would
you react if a law determined that all new vehicles from now on
should have a sticker price from the first half of 2009? Moreover,
could you, the dealer network, afford...
Thursday, March 7, 2013 by
How would you react if a law determined that all new vehicles, from
now on, should have a sticker price from the first half of 2009?
Moreover, could you as a dealer network afford to give back to all
you customers what they paid beyond those prices between then and
now? This can sound like an unrealistic scenario, but is a law
approved in Venezuela. The law was create after Congress inspected
and questioned OEMs, dealers and independent stores and got to the
conclusion that vehicles are...
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by
As Toyota announced it has regained the global sales crown
, it makes me think of how the
Japanese OEM has wasted its chances in the world's fourth
largest market. Not everyone is aware that Toyota opened its first
factory outside of Japan within Brazil in 1959, a plant that is
currently used to produce parts. For decades, the Brazilian market
was closed to imports and Toyota only produced a version of
its Land Cruiser. It was a great product for rural areas, but
Toyota was far behind its...Read...
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 by
South America is a very diverse continent. Brazil, its main
country, forbids diesel passenger cars and speaks Portuguese, but
is surrounded by Spanish speaking countries. French Guiana still
belongs to France, something not very common nowadays. Consumer
behavior is also different: Toyota, for example, is the market
leader in Peru and has a higher share in the countries closer to
the Pacific Ocean, while customer loyalty in Brazil and Argentina
goes toward brands from Europe and the United...Read...
Thursday, December 20, 2012 by
Late in June, Argentina canceled the free-trade agreement it has
had with Mexico since 2002 (as noted in my prior blog
). Argentina wanted to negotiate the
agreement, as Brazil successfully did with Mexico, assigning quotas
to imports but Mexico did not concede. Argentina has been
consistently the fifth main market for Mexican exports since 2009,
although volumes jumped 177% between 2009 and 2011. Brazil went
from the fourth spot in 2009 up to second place this
year, even with limits to...
Thursday, October 25, 2012 by
The presence of Dan Akerson, General Motors' CEO, Martin
Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche,
Takanobu Ito, Honda's CEO and President, and Ralf Speth, Jaguar
Land Rover's CEO, shows how international the 2012 Sao Paulo auto
show has become. Brazil has always been a key market for many OEMs
– for example, it is the second main market for Chevrolet and
Renault – but it has been closed, with many products only offered
in the country and in neighboring Argentina....
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by
It was a national holiday in Brazil on October 12 and I went with
my family to where my father was born, a small town where
approximately 10,000 people live today. During the long weekend, my
impression was that Chevrolet was the best seller in Brazil, but
actually it falls behind Fiat and Volkswagen. However, I saw more
of the Chevrolet Montana (a pick-up truck based on a passenger car,
something that Brazil created decades ago) and the S-10 (the local
name of the Colorado) than the Fiat...
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 by
I arrived in my hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil yesterday and thought
for sure that I would see a couple of Volkswagen Gols with their
new facelift, which was announced in July. The Gol has been the
best-selling vehicle in Brazil for 30 years and in the past, I have
always seen a new generation or facelift on the streets as soon as
they were announced. However, to my surprise, yesterday was
different: I didn't see a new Gol. At the airport parking lot,
there were two EcoSports – the crossover...
Monday, September 17, 2012 by
At this point in automotive history, nobody denies the importance
of Hyundai. According to Polk data, the Korean OEM produced almost
3 million light vehicles worldwide in 2003 and we forecast that its
output will reach 8.3 million in 2016. That's a growth of 183%,
while on the other hand, GM's production is rather stable during
the same period. Part of this growth will come from a brand new
factory in Brazil. With an investment of $600 million, Hyundai will
start producing a hatchback on... Read...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by
There is a lot of buzz about the Audi plant that will be built in
San José Chiapa, Mexico. The press refers to it as "Audi's first
car plant in the Americas," but this is not correct. Audi produced
the A3 in São José dos Pinhais, Brazil between 1999 and 2006, in a
factory now totally owned by Audi's parent company, Volkswagen.
Golf (still in its fourth generation), Fox and SpaceFox are
produced there. It was a joint venture between Audi and Volkswagen
– Audi had 25% of the factory.The A3...
Friday, August 3, 2012 by
As the July sales numbers were released, Ford and GM made the
headlines for their drop, while Chrysler still enjoys its momentum.
But Ford’s challenges are not only in the U.S. – and I am not
talking about Europe. In Brazil, where the market enjoyed a 22%
growth in July, Ford sold 12% less light vehicles compared to June.
Its monthly market share slumped to 8.44% from 9.90% in the
previous month. Ford, the first OEM to be established in Brazil
(1919), has always faced challenges in Latin... Read...
Thursday, July 26, 2012 by
In an eastern province of Paraguay, more than 300 police officers
tried to evict 150 landless farmers from an estate owned by a
political opponent of Fernando Lugo, the Paraguayan president. Six
police officers and 11 farmers died. One week later, the Senate
voted to impeach Mr. Lugo for his “poor performance” during the
forced eviction. He was immediately replaced by the Vice President,
Federico Franco, who will be in charge of the 6.3 million person
country until next August, when Mr....
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by
First, it happened with Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff's
government announced that it would cancel the ACE-55, signed
between the Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) and
Mexico in 2002 to allow the free trade of light vehicles between
the five countries. In 2011, the trade deficit between Brazil and
Mexico was US$1.5 billion and the Brazilian government worried it
would not stop increasing. Mexico did not want to lose the benefits
of exporting to Brazil, the fourth main...
Monday, June 25, 2012 by
Polk has just finished updating its light vehicle sales and
production forecast, which is made four times a year. For the South
American market, the numbers are not as positive as one would
expect for emerging countries. We've reduced the sales forecast by
2% for 2012, 3% for next year and 5% for 2014. Regarding
production, the forecast was reduced by 3.4%, 2.9% and 1.6% for
those same years. The main cause of these reductions is the
Brazilian market, which represented 67.3% of the total...