10 Feb 21

Latam vehicle sales down in 2020, but commercial fleet solid

Despite vehicle sales in Latin America sliding 25% in 2020 in wake of the worldwide health pandemic and correlating economic crisis, the commercial fleet market fared much better.

Based on data acquired from the most influential markets in the region, here is Global Fleet’s findings from countries with the five largest national fleets (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile) which make up some 80% of the Latam market.

General Market

In Brazil, home to some 56.5 million vehicles, a total of 3.19mn new units were licensed in 2020, down 21.6% year-over-year. While passenger car sales were down 28.6%, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) slid 15.4%.

Meanwhile, Latin America’s second largest market Mexico showed a 28% drop in sales to 949,121 vehicles. It has a national fleet of 35.6mn. Down south in Argentina (14.3mn car park), new vehicle registrations totaled 342,474, down 25% compared to 2019.

In Colombia (5.8mn car park), 188,655 new vehicles were sold last year, representing a 28.5% fall year-over-year. While passenger cars showed a 33.3% drop, SUV and pickup sales slid 23.5% and 27.8% for the year.

Finally, in Chile (5mn car park), the country was hit with 30% less sales, reporting 258,835 new registrations for the year.

Considering these countries, we can see that Latin America vehicle sales fell approximately 25% year-over-year in 2020. Ranked No. 1 was FCA with 502,000 units sold, up 2.9% for the year and representing a 16.6% share of the market. A large part of this was due to the success of its compact pickup Fiat Strada.

Commercial Fleet

Although sales to the general public such as the best-selling Chevrolet Onix subcompact hatch did take a hard hit in 2020, new registrations for higher priced products such as electric vehicles (EV) for high-usage fleets, sedans and SUVs for executives, and LCVs for delivery and technical teams were impacted to a lesser extent.

Regarding pickups, some of those faring well in the region last year were the Fiat Strada (up 5% year-over-year in Brazil), the Volkswagen Amarok (+2.3% in Argentina), in addition to the best-selling Mitsubishi L200 and Toyota Hilux models in Chile which were down for the year but still better than the overall market.

2021 Fiat Strada (source: Fiat)

Other vehicles to highlight in the region include the Volkswagen T-Cross compact SUV (+167% in Argentina), Mercedes Benz GLC sedan (+20% in Colombia), and the Nissan Versa sedan (+1.2% in Colombia). The Versa, which is Mexico’s best-selling car, was actually down 21.9% last year but still better than the overall market.

2021 Volkswagen T-Cross (source: Volkswagen)

As for EVs, several models did well in 2020. Among them were the Toyota Corolla hybrid (+166% in Brazil) and Volvo X60 hybrid (+123% in Brazil). The Toyota Prius, which is the top-selling hybrid in Mexico, is also selling well despite sliding 18% year-over-year.

2021 Toyota Corolla hybrid (source: Toyota)


Latam Fleet Models


Year-on-year performance

Volkswagen T-Cross

+167% (Argentina)

Toyota Corolla hybrid

+166% (Brazil)

Volvo X60 hybrid

+123% (Brazil)

Mercedes Benz GLC

+20% (Colombia)

Fiat Strada


Volkswagen Amarok

+2.3% (Argentina)

Nissan Versa

+1.2% (Colombia)

Toyota Prius hybrid

-18% (Mexico)

Toyota Hilux

-16.5% (Chile)


For more on these and other topics related to the fleet and mobility scene throughout Latin America and the world, visit Global Fleet's Wikifleet pages, wich features detailed profiles on 50 countries.   

Authored by: Daniel Bland