Uruguay

Last modification: 13 Dec 18
Introduction: 

Uruguay is the second-smallest South American country (after Suriname). It is mostly made up of rolling plains, but also has ferticle coastal lowlands. Most of the population resides in the southern half of the country, with some 80% living in urban areas. Nearly half of the population lives in and around the capital of Montevideo. 

During the 2008-09 global financial crisis, Uruguay's economy also slowed down, seeing a 2.6% decelleration in 2009. However, the country did avoid a recession and kept growth rates positive, mainly through higher public expenditure and investment. By 2010, GDP growth reached 8.9% but then decellerated in the 2012-16 period as a result of a renewed slowdown in the global economy and in Uruguay's main trading partners and Mercosur counterparts (Argentina and Brazil). However, reforms in those countries gave Uruguay an economic boost and growth was reported in 2017.  

In general, Uruguay has a free market economy characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending.

Chapter 1: Economic and business environment

Demographics

3.37 million (July, 2018)

Capital

Montevideo, with population of 1.38 million (2017)

Major cities

Montevideo (population of 1.38 million)
Salto (approx. 100,000)
Ciudad de la Costa (approx. 84,000)

Languages

Spanish

GDP

US$59.2 billion (2017), up 2.7% year-on-year 

Unemployment rate

7.6% (2017)

Main industries

food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages
agriculture: Cellulose, beef, soybeans, rice, wheat; dairy products; fish; lumber, tobacco, wine

Currency

Uruguayen peso

Interest rate

9% (2013)

Political key info

In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and National (Blanco) parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.

Inflation

6.2% (2017)

Chapter 2 : Automotive market, segments & sales

Total Car park

276,900 vehicles (one in every 3.6 people)

Top 5 brands (total market)

Best-selling brands in 2017, considering cars, SUV, and light commercial vehicles (LCV)

1. Volkswagen (8,040 vehicles)
2.
Chevrolet (7,331)
3.
Fiat (6,344)
4.
Renault (5,071)
5. Suzuki (4,996)

Model preference top 5 (total market)

1. Chevrolet Onix/Prisma (6,663 units)
2. Volkswagen Up (2,950)
3. Volkswagen Saveiro (2,734)
4. Fiat Uno/Uno Way (2,549)
5. Fiat Strada (1,925)

Chapter 4: Taxation & legislation

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Chapter 5: Car policies

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Chapter 6: Funding methods

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Chapter 7: Fuel

Average gasoline price per liter: US$1.70
World average: US$1.11
(est. December 10, 2018)

Cities in Uruguay are among those with the most expensive petrol prices in Latin America.

Chapter 8 : TCO components

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Chapter 9: Safety, insurance and telematics

Car insurance in Uruguay is very customized. Insurers develop tailor-made policies for their clients based on data on kilometer usage, risk exposure, good driver behavior, and other key issues, and much of this is linked to telematics. This has led to more regulated fleet operations, and many insurance companies have actually developed their own mobile apps and services to manage their operations. 

For one, Sancor Seguros launched "Intelligent Auto" in 2018, a new telematics supported product which involves installing a telematics device in each vehicle, carrying out data processing on braking, acceleration, suddeng movements, kilometers traveled, time on the road, and others. From the data processed, the device can give tips on the safer and more efficient handling of your vehicles.

Besided telematics qualifying you for price promotions and benefits from insurance companies, it can also cut fleet operational cost by up to 30% in some cases.

 

Chapter 10: Environment

Uruguay is considered one places with the highest penetration of renewable energies, according to the neweable energies global repoort "Renováveis 2017 - Relatório Global".

Uruguay has managed to become the country with the highest proportion of electricity generated from wind energy in Latin America and fourth in the world. Over the last 10 years, 43 wind farms have been installed alongside other forms of renewable energy: solar, biomass and hydropower.

Today, almost 95% of the country's electricity comes from sustainable energy which ensures secure and stable infrastructure able to handle the tourist seasons.

Chapter 11: Mobility

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Chapter 12: Key trends to watch

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