Analysis
13 Oct 20

Wikifleet South America update: Markets struggling but gradually recovering

In South America, vehicle sales are slowly starting to come back in the wake of struggling economies and this has recently been expressed in Chile, the region’s fourth largest automobile fleet market.

After four consecutive months registering year-over-year losses above 60%, sales in the country started to turn around in August and it showed a significant improvement in September.

While sales shortly after the start of the pandemic in April plummeted 73% to 8,893 units, May was down 72% to 8,673, June down 68% to 8,959, and July fell by just over 63% year-over-year to 11,454 units.

From there, August sales dropped 42% to 19,037 units and September only slipped by 16% to 31,849. Chevrolet led brand sales in September, down 16%, while Suzuki saw a 27% increase year-over-year. As for the best top 10 performing brands, MG sales jumped by 46%.


Best-selling light vehicle models in Chile, first semester 2020

Mitsubishi L200

Pickup

2,713 units

Suzuki Baleno

Subcompact

2,489 units

Chevrolet Sail

Subcompact

2,248 units

MG ZS

SUV

2,196 units

Kia Rio

Subcompact

2,115 units

source: Autocosmos

Considering the first 10 months of the year, a total of 164,999 units were sold in Chile, representing a fall of 43% compared to the same period in 2019, according to automotive research and data group Focus2Move.
With that said, although being a big blow to the industry, we can see that sales fell by 71% on average in 2Q20 and only 40% in the third quarter, and this is basically the same trend occurring throughout the region.

For Chili and its neighbors, however, they are certainly not out of the woods yet as they too seek the long-awaited vaccine. In terms of per capita impact from the Coronavirus pandemic, Chile, Peru and Bolivia are among the worst worldwide and this has stifled their economies.

For the most part, unemployment and inflation has gone up in the countries while benchmark interest rates have been reduced to help deal with the matter, according to some of the latest updates in their respective Global Fleet Wikifleet pages.

In Chile, unemployment was 12.9%, inflation 3.1%, and interest was only 0.5% in the third quarter. As for Peru, the three were 5.6%, 1.8%, and 0.25% respectively and in Bolivia, unemployment (3.5%), inflation (1.39%) and interest (3.34%) considering the latest 2020 data.

Despite these pressures, with continued discipline and ongoing patience, things could continue to turn around as we near 2021. Keep an eye out for updates on Wikifleet, a collaborative effort by the Global fleet team covering five regions and nearly 50 countries throughout the world.

Authored by: Daniel Bland
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