Argentina forcing carmakers to export wine, peanuts and chicken feed

Want to sell cars in Argentina? Be prepared to get into the wine business. Or the rice, peanut, chicken feed, biodiesel or bottled water businesses. Or anything else of value, really.

Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (pictured above) has enacted a program to increase the country's exports and boost its economy by requiring automakers to match, dollar for dollar, the price of its vehicle imports by exporting some other product from Argentina.

While the plan will surely accomplish the goal of increasing exports, some experts are wary of its impact on the auto market. Marcos Ferrario, an economist who tracks the Argentinian auto industry, told Bloomberg: "It's very difficult to counterbalance imports of luxury cars, which are worth about $150,000 each, with sales of olives or wines."

As long as Argentina's auto market is growing by about 30 percent per year, we'd expect automakers to do their best to keep dealerships stocked with vehicles. Long term, though, this sounds like a plan that's nearly impossible to sustain.

Share This Photo X