Gerald Porcario, Renault: Staying ahead of the game in Colombia
Although Colombia is home to South America’s third largest vehicle fleet, only about 10% of its 49.6 million residents have a car. It is this, along with the current state of the economy, which will open up a lot of opportunity for new car sales, according to Gerald Porcario who is Renault's commercial director for the country.
In Fleet LatAm’s latest one-on-one with the executive, we talk about the evolving Colombian market and some of the most successful models being offered in the country by the French automaker.
Could you first give me an idea of the 0km vehicle market in Colombia?
Porcario: The light vehicle industry in Colombia sees some 250,000 new registrations per year, and this includes passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. It peaked in 2014 with 303,000 units but has remained around 240,000 to 250,000 units per year on average over the last three years.
Fleet sales represent about 20% of this market and the used car market represents around three times the new car market.
One of the main characteristics of the country is the very low number of people who actually have cars. While about 1 in 10 have a car in Colombia, Brazil has about 3 in 10 and Europe around 6 in 10. This gives us an idea of the market potential in the future.
Regarding car sales, Chevrolet and Renault were practically tied in Colombia last year. Do you think Renault could take a strong lead in 2019 and what are the determining factors for success in the country?
Porcario: We have recently launched a very powerful model in the A segment, being the Renault Kwid (subcompact hatch), a category in which we have been absent in for approximately two years.
We know there is huge potential in this segment and the launch of this model should help us sustain our growth and maintain our leadership in the market.
Besides this, a very balanced product portfolio now firmly covering all the main segments as well as our constant focus on customer experience is what will help us improve our reach and generate a sustainable performance.
2019 Renault Kwid (source: Renault)
Which Renault models are you expecting to lead the market in 2019 and could we expect any new models coming into the market by 2020?
Porcario: Well, the Sandero (compact hatch), Logan (compact sedan) and Duster (compact SUV) are leading their sub-segments in a robust manner and the Kwid, which is already the best-selling model in Colombia only a few weeks after its launch, is there to follow.
Meanwhile, as Colombia is a key market for Renault, we will obviously keep revamping our range of products and launch new ones in the months and years to come.
Car fleets in Colombia are rather small. Do you see them increasing in the near future?
Porcario: Colombia is a rapidly changing country with high fleet market potential and a lot of corporate growth. The country boasts an extensive range of long-term rental solutions with strong players accompanying the development and implementation of international companies in the country.
Hence, just as fleet has been developed in other mature countries, I do feel that Colombia will be following suit.
The full-electric Renault Zoe has been quite successful in Europe. Do you think we could see similar success in Colombia?
Porcario: Colombia is leading the electric vehicle (EV) pack in South America, with 50% of Renault’s regional EV sales taking place in the country. As for ZOE, it was launched in mid-2018 in Colombia and it is already a best seller.
It’s good to note that travel restrictions, aimed at controlling pollution in big cities such as Bogota and Medellin, do not apply to EVs so we see ZOE evolving quite well in the market along with the Kangoo ZE and Twizy.
In Colombia, our market share in the EV category is very close to 60%.