Latin America vehicles sales slide in 2019
Vehicle sales in Latin America slid by approximately 1% in 2019 considering the countries with the five largest national fleets in the region, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile, according to the Wikifleet pages of Global Fleet which compiles data from various associations throughout the region.
Approximately 6.4 million vehicles were sold in these countries last year, slightly down from the 6.5mn sold in 2018. Their total represents about 80% of sales throughout the region.
Best-selling car models in 2019 - Latin America as a whole
1. Chevrolet Onix
250,805 (+8.6% year-over-year)
2. Ford Ka
157,361 (-4.4% year-over-year)
3. Toyota Hilux
115,058 (-4.6% year-over-year)
4. Nissan Versa
111,357 (-10.3% year-over-year)
5. Volkswagen Gol
108,560 (-9.1% year-over-year)
In the largest market of Brazil, approximately 3.99 million new vehicle registrations were reported in 2019, up 10.5% year-over-year and this included passenger cars, pickups, light commercial vehicles (LCV), trucks, buses and motorcycles.
If only considering passenger cars and LCV’s, the uptick was 7.65% to 2.66 million units, according to the country’s motor vehicles distribution federation Fenabrave.
At the same time, some 11,900 electrified (mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery full-electric) vehicles were registered in the country last year, most of them in the second semester. While this only represented 0.4% of the entire market, 2020 should see an increase to more than 1% or some 40,000 units.
General Motors* led sales with 430,975 units, followed by Volkswagen with 349,783 units, Renault (217,343), Hyundai (203,657) and Fiat (201,423). Brazil has approximately 65.3 million light vehicles in all, being 56.5 million cars (one per four inhabitants) and 8.76 million LCV’s.
2020 Chevrolet Onix (source: General Motors)
Meanwhile in Mexico, approximately 1.32 million light vehicles were sold to the public in 2019, sliding 7.7% from the 1.43 million sold the year before, according to the country’s institute of statistics and geography INEGI. Electrified vehicles, however, have been on the rise lately (mostly hybrids), reaching some 24,000 units last year.
Overall sales were led by Nissan with 268,156 units, followed by General Motors* with 211,987, Volkswagen (143,649), Toyota (105,663) and Kia (95,539). The country’s national fleet totals some 33.5 million passenger vehicles (one per three inhabitants), being 33 million passenger cars and 441,659 passenger pickups.
Latin America’s third largest market Argentina has been struggling for nearly two years with sales dropping 42.7% to 459,592 units last year, according to the country’s automobile dealers association ACARA. While dealership sales fell 45.5% year-over-year to 372,474 units, exports dropped 16.7% to 224,248 units, local vehicle manufacturers association Adefa said.
The downturn is mainly due to high inflation (53%) and a benchmark interest rate of 50%, both influenced by the weakening of the Argentinean Peso which devalued 37% against the US dollar last year and 50% in 2018.
Despite being down, Volkswagen led the fight with 68,618 units, followed by Toyota (65,065 units), Renault (63,389), General Motors* (50,997) and Ford (49,933). Overall, Argentina has some 14 million vehicles (one per three inhabitants) of which 85% are passenger cars and pickups, 11% LCVs, and 4% trucks and buses.
As for Colombia, its performance was better year-over-year. A total of 263,684 units were sold in 2019, up 2.7% from the year before. While pickups showed a 4.6% rise to 3,021 units, premium passenger vehicle sales jumped 123% to 12,766 units.
Electrified vehicle sales, like the rest of the region, are on the rise. A total of 3,134 units were sold in the country, up 236% year-over-year. Most of them were mild hybrids (1,722 units), followed by battery electric (923 units), and plug-in hybrids (439 units), according to the country’s sustainable mobility association Andemos.
Holding the top spot was Renault with 57,066 units, followed by General Motors* (46,521 units), Nissan (21,579), Mazda (20,424) and Kia (20,015). Although the country has a total of nearly 6 million cars (one per nine inhabitants), its passenger vehicle fleet increases to 13 million if including motorcycles.
Last but not least, Chile saw 372,878 new vehicle registrations in 2019, down 10.6% year-over-year. Of this, 141,717 were passenger vehicles, 137,303 were SUVs and crossovers, and 93,858 were pickups and LCVs. More than 300 electric buses are circulating on streets, being provided by Chinese manufacturer BYD.
In the pole position last year was General Motors with 35,395 units, followed by Hyundai (28,302 units), Kia (28,013), Suzuki (27,880) and Nissan (26,774). Approximately 5 million vehicles are in Chile (one in four inhabitants).