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Brazilian Market a Booming Free-for-All

Flood of new product at Sao Paulo Motor Show underscores intense competition.

by on Oct.23, 2012

The more striking designs appearing at the 2012 Sao Paulo Motor Show - Nissan's Extrem concept shown here - reveal the intensifying competition in Brazil.

While the plan still needs final government approval, BMW is set to become the latest maker to open an automotive assembly plant in Brazil.  The new factory is expected to produce about 30,000 vehicles a year once it opens in 2014 in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

Brazil is a relative latecomer to booming Brazil which, depending on how you measure it, has become the world’s third or fourth-largest national automotive market.  But it’s by no means the only global automaker eyeing additional opportunities.  An even bigger Nissan factory, located near Rio, is also set to open in 2014.

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The pace of competition is readily apparent at this week’s Sao Paulo Auto Show in the Portugese-speaking nation’s biggest – and most traffic clogged city.  Virtually every major automaker, including the “usual suspects” from Europe, the U.S., Japan and South Korea, as well as an assortment of Chinese brands, are competing for the eye of Brazil’s rapidly expanding middle-class.


Nissan-Renault Launch $1.8 Bil “Brazil Offensive”

Makers aim to double share in booming market by 2016.

by on Oct.06, 2011

Renault's new Duster 4x4 is part of an aggressive product program aimed at Brazil that will see it - and Nissan - launch 23 new models.

Nissan and its alliance partner Renault will invest $1.8 billion in an aggressive campaign to double their market share in the booming Brazilian auto market over the next five years.

Expanding upon earlier announcements, the two makers will launch 23 new models and expand their combined production capacity to 580,000 vehicles annually.

“Brazil represents a tremendous opportunity – both as a manufacturing base and as the home of a new generation of Renault and Nissan customers,” said Carlos Ghosn, who serves as CEO of both Nissan and Renault, during an announcement in Rio de Janeiro. “Brazil weathered the recession and emerged as the clear engine of growth for Latin America in the 21st century. We look forward to contributing to the region’s rapidly evolving manufacturing and technological expertise.”

Fueled by its fast-growing middle-class, automotive demand in Brazil has been red hot and that’s leading makers to commit to invest billions to boost their production capacity.  But could they heading for trouble?  The market has seen some unexpected slowdowns this year which raises concerns about Brazil’s ability to maintain its momentum at a time when much of the rest of the global economy – even China – is showing signs of trouble.

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But Ghosn – who is a Brazilian native – is clearly convinced the market can overcome its problems.  With a population of 190 million, Brazil has become the largest economy in Latin America, in large part due to a 25% growth in its middle class over the past decade.  Vehicle ownership surged from 121 per thousand in 2002 to 158 by 2008.


Brazil Set to Outsell Germany?

The land of tomorrow…today?

by on Apr.15, 2010

Though the market has become more global, Brazil has also seen the development of some unique models, like the Chevrolet Sabia.

Brazil is the land of the future…and always will be, or so goes the snarky joke about Latin America’s largest country, a nation that always seems to be so close to becoming a truly first world economy, only to see itself set back by yet another crisis.

But when it comes to the automotive industry, at least, Brazil is finally in gear and, it seems, on a fast course to overtake Europe’s largest national market, Germany – perhaps this year – according to several new studies, including one by J.D. Power and Associates.

The Brazilian market has been on a shaky march for more than a decade, set in motion by that government’s creation of the so-called “Popular Car” segment.  Originally seen as a small niche of stripped-down econocars aimed at first-time buyers hoping to improve their lives, the Popular Car segment is now a major force in the Brazilian auto industry.

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Meanwhile, IHS Global Insight reports that improving access to credit has increased the number of potential car buyers in the nation of 206 million people by 50%.