7 Mar 18

European, Asian, American OEMs dispute LatAm market

Vehicles on Latin American streets originate from three main parts of the world, being Europe, Asia, and the United States. Their dominance throughout the region, however, varies from country to country.

Basically, brands from Asia (mainly Japan’s Toyota and Nissan) dominate Mexico and Central America while those from the United States (mainly Chevrolet and Ford) dominate South America.

Meanwhile, European brands such as Germany’s Volkswagen, Italy’s Fiat, and France’s Renault seem to be evenly spread out throughout the regions with VW leading the way.

Finally, newcomers from China are starting to eye various countries throughout Latin America. They are listed below.

Mexico and Central America

In Mexico, the hub of the region and Latin America’s second largest automobile fleet, Nissan leads the market, followed by Chevrolet and Volkswagen. The top selling car in the country is the Nissan Versa.

Meanwhile, much of its Central American neighbors are led by the Toyota brand, including Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Toyota in Honduras, however, has recently lost its No. 1 spot to Nissan.

The best-selling pickup in Central America is the Toyota Hilux. A total of 80,323 units were sold throughout all of Latin America in 2017.

South America

In Brazil, which anchors Latin America as the largest automobile fleet, its top selling brand is Chevrolet, followed by Ford and Hyundai. The best-selling car in the country and the entire region is the Chevrolet Onix. A total of 230,954 units were sold throughout Latin America last year.

Considering Brazil’s largest neighbors, the most sold brand in Argentina (LatAm’s third largest fleet) is Volkswagen and the top selling brand in both Chile (No. 4 largest) and Colombia (No. 5) is Chevrolet.

Latin America

In terms of the automotive groups selling the most cars in Latin America, they are Renault-Nissan (led by Nissan Versa, Renault Sandero and Nissan March), General Motors (led by Chevrolet’s Onix and Prisma) and Toyota (led by Hilux and Corolla ). For more on the best-selling models of 2017, visit this page.

Finally, a number of newcomers from China are making their way into various countries. Most seem to be focused on Brazil, Chile, and Mexico but other countries such as Argentina and Colombia are being targeted.

Among the car and truck manufacturers coming from the Asian country are BAIC, BYD, Chery, Dongfeng, Geely, Giant, JAC, Lifan, and Saic. 


Authored by: Daniel Bland