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South American Vehicle Market: Chinese Share Increased to 7.5% in 2022

Automobile sales in nine South American countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay) increased by 1.9% from the previous year to 3.66 million units. Although sales improved for the second consecutive year, demand was still below the pre-coronavirus level of over 4 million units. While sales in eight countries exceeded the previous year’s results, a decline in Brazil, the largest market in South America, held back overall market growth. As for the full year of 2023, there is a possibility that sales will exceed 4 million units for the first time in four years due to economic recovery and improvements in the product supply system.

Looking at sales by brand origin, European manufacturers, which are strong in Brazil, increased sales by 0.7% year-on-year to 1.54 million units. Japanese makers were second with 737,000 units, a decrease of 2.0%, followed by American OEMs with 700,000 units, an increase of 4.6%, and Korean manufacturers with 343,000 units, an increase of 0.9%. Chinese automakers, which are making full-fledged introduction of low-priced cars in South America, boosted sales by 16.7% year-on-year to 275,000 units, continuing to expand their market share, up 1.0 point to 7.5%. Looking at the market share of Chinese brands by country, it has increased to over 32.0% in Ecuador, 26.2% in Chile, 23.0% in Peru, and 22.2% in Bolivia. Although Chinese market share in Brazil (1.7%) and Argentina (0.6%) is small, there is a possibility that it will rapidly increase in the future, as BYD plans to launch a new factory in Brazil in the second half of 2024.

Vehicle production in five South American countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay) increased by 9.2% from the previous year to 3.02 million units, exceeding 3 million units for the first time in three years. However, compared to the pre-coronavirus 2019 level, production was down 11.0%.

Graph: South America (Nine Countries): Sales Volume of Automobiles (1997-2022)
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