According to the Los Angeles Times, new car sales in South America are skyrocketing, thanks to wage hikes, more jobs and easy credit terms. Last year, there were 3.5 million new car and light truck purchases in Brazil alone, representing an 86-percent increase over 2006.

While Brazil leads the charge in terms of new car sales numbers, Peru topped the heap in terms of per capita market growth, moving 106,000 new cars in 2010, or three times its 2006 total. Argentina and Columbia also experienced car-buying booms, with their markets growing by 25 percent and 50 percent respectively over 2006.

Despite car-buying increases in Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Peru, the trend doesn't ring true in Mexico, where new car sales have dwindled. In 2006, Mexicans bought 1.2 million new cars, as opposed to just 820,000 in 2010. Dealers blame the decline on Mexico's opening the market to used American cars. Venezuela saw a decrease, too, after import duties were increased in an attempt to stem inflation.

The trend is obviously good for automakers like General Motors, who move plenty of metal in Latin America, and need all the help they can get from expanding markets. Importantly, the upward trend in new vehicle sales also shows that at least some South American economies are beginning to stabilize. Easy credit, longer loan repayment periods and consumers' increased disposable income indicate that the region as a whole is on the rise.

[Source: The Los Angeles Times |Image: Rafael Cavalcante – CC 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      WRC86
      • 3 Years Ago
      you spell it COLOMBIA not columbia
        Rodrigo Alvergue
        • 3 Years Ago
        @WRC86
        YOU GOT THAT RIGHT, I AM FRO MEL SALVADOR AND YES, IT IS SPELLED COLOMBIA, NOT COLUMBIA. PEOPLE HERE IN THE USA SWEAR THAT THEY CAN CHANGE COUNTRY NAMES AS THEY WISH, I LIVE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA....
      Juan Jose Gaitan Luc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mr. Richardson: It`s COLOMBIA not ColUmbia.
        scott
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Juan Jose Gaitan Luc
        The Autoblog staff is notorious for geographical spelling errors. Get used to it.
        Ripituc
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Juan Jose Gaitan Luc
        Yes, and it's not the first time, you need a big sign on your office with COLOMBIA in big, bold letters!
      mosconariz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please, don't confuse South America with Latin america. In this case Latin America is the correct term because you mension Mexico.
        Rodrigo Alvergue
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mosconariz
        I agree, Latin America would have Mexico included, South America wouldn't, Mexico is part of North America
      UncleCrisis
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ok, I get it, you thing is cars not international affairs, but your ignorance on basic geography is simply unacceptable if you want to call your selfs journalists. The country is COLOMBIA (not Columbia as the University in NY or as in District of Columbia). Then, learn the difference between Latin America and South America. The first refers to a territories where Spanish, Portuguese and French are spoken, which include a portion of Canada, Mexico, parts of Central America y and parts of the Caribbean; whereas the second refers to the Continent south of Panama, which does not include Mexico.
        Essende
        • 3 Years Ago
        @UncleCrisis
        UncleCrisis, the name Colombia comes from Columbus so its easy to make a mistake just like you've made a mistake in the very first sentence. From spelling mistakes to grammar mistakes (Hint: think not thing, cars are not, not, is cars, etc etc). Anyway, going back to the article, whenever you are all the way down, the only way is up.
          latin
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Essende
          Actually, Columbus' name in Italian (where he was from) was Cristoforo Colombo, and in Spanish it's Cristóbal Cólon. So in reality, Colombia makes more sense than Columbia.
        EnzoHonda
        • 3 Years Ago
        @UncleCrisis
        "Latin America" "which include a portion of Canada" WTF are you talking about? Please point me to the Canadian Province that's in Latin America. I'd love to visit there sometime during the winter. My instincts say that you were thinking Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States. You made way too many errors to be harping on them for accidentally using the "Columbia" that they are more familiar with and more frequently use.
        Jorge
        • 3 Years Ago
        @UncleCrisis
        Well said. I was about to comment about the spelling of Colombia, and even though your other points are true, there is no need to call someone ignorant, anyone can make a mistake. Autoblog, please correct to make it accurate and to avoid others from getting incorrect information.
        Rodrigo Alvergue
        • 3 Years Ago
        @UncleCrisis
        I am from El Salvador, but I live in Southern California, and I tell you that people here in the US swear that America is just a country and not a continent, not knowing that the US never had a proper name to begin with , so the America name was left out at the end, America is a continent, starts in Alaska, and it ends in Tierra de Fuego, Argentina....
      Alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      so what ?! i live in brazil, and i can tell you: we pay too much for crap-cars tha even exists in the rest of the world. While you guys pays 20k u$ for a ford fusion, we more than pay twice ( including tax and everything). But, our wages its very, very lower. And the Gas..pff 7 dollars a gallon. So the point is: No matter if are growing or not, the automakers dont refresh the line ( like Golf IV) and still charging us highest prices in the world. Damn , how much i hate to be in 3th world haha
        Shadowlayer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex
        Yeah I know what you mean, went to argentina a month ago and a 370z is almost $80k over there, you can buy a GTR in the states for that money.
      Diego3336
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sell cars in Brazil is a very good business as we pay U$36k for a basic Civic, U$30k for a 4cc S10 (yes, it's still produced here), U$40k for a Hyundai i30, U$51k for a Ford Fusion 2.5 and others. And all those cars are selling very well. And the cheapest car available here is sold for U$14.5k, and this car is the 1st gen Fiat Uno with 1.0 engine lol.
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Diego3336
        Do you guys have really high import and/or vehicle taxes down there? Usually when there is dramatically different price for the same goods in different countries it is because of different tax rates.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Julius
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The trend is obviously good for automakers like General Motors, who move plenty of metal in Latin America" It would be interesting to see if any of that improvement will help out with the finances here at home. I wonder if Ford and Chrysler would be seeing these improvements, too.
      Felipe Burgos
      • 3 Years Ago
      And Chile?..... Sales in 2010 was the highest in last 10 years (despite the 27F earthquake), and in 2011 will raise the 310,000 units.
      mg in chile
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the numbers in this report are somewhat irrelevant, although it is important to know where the vehicles are selling and at what growth rate, its also important to know why. Per capita sales and per capita income are the numbers that marketing execs look at when positioning a brand and placing product. If you look at what vehicles are offered to market within Latin America, one country stands out far above the rest for luxury and mid range brands. Chile, with its nearly 17 million population sold 276,608 new vehicles in 2010, that's a single year 66% increase with brands like Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus and Lexus making impressive volume sales increases. Chile also has the largest offering of vehicles in the Americas with nearly 60 brands represented in the light vehicle market. Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler sell a larger portion of their portfolio here as the Camaro, Challenger, Corvette (all but the ZR1) Mustang (in various Iterations) make this a new battle ground for muscle car sales. Another point to consider is the average price per vehicle. Where in other countries in the region, 4 door compacts account for the lions share of the market. in Chile the SUV market share is closing in on the U.S.'s numbers for the segment.
        Rsix
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mg in chile
        Also theres another country, much smaller and with fewer sales in total, but with high per capita sales and where people loves extras: Panama. Almost all Japanese cars distributed to latin american first go to Panama. The best selling cars: Toyota Hilux, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Accent and Nissan Navara. Honda CRVs and Rav4 are really popular and Crossovers SUVs are the hottest segment of the season. Aside Dominican Republic, Panamenians are one of the really few contruies in L. A. in which you can buy the smallest car avaible and order an automatic transmision (in other countries A/T is luxury, there is basic). In Panama the market share of the Pickups Trucks is high; Navara (Frotiner) and Hilux (the international version of Tacoma) are like F-150 vs Silverado in the US.
      Shadowlayer
      • 3 Years Ago
      Countries over there are going to the first commodities boom in the last 100 years, thats why they have so much money and are able to buy stuff. For most of the last century prices of stuff like oil and wheat were on the bottom, peru for example went belly up when synthetic fertilizers destroyed the guano industry, their main export. The moment this ends they'll be back to square one
      LifeLongCarGuy
      • 3 Years Ago
      This doesn't surprise me. Latin America (inclusive) is a growing economy that is overshadowed in the media by the likes of China and India, but Latin American countries are sought after by big businesses looking for the next large pool of profit (selling goods) and cheap labor. In the end Latin American countries, big business and the global economy wins. In the meantime it is good to see ordinary citizens reap the benefits of this growth.
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