Attention pro-protectionists: Protectionism creates problems for one of your most favorite companies. GM wants to bring its new Chevrolet Trax SUVlet to Brazil, but Brazil is giving GM a hard time, says Reuters.
GM started production of the Trax in Mexico this month, with firm plans of shipping the Trax to Brazil. However, Brazil, the country lauded by pro-protectionists for its newly sealed borders and high taxes on imports, reneged on a free trade agreement with Mexico. Result: The small SUV market in Brazil goes to Ford (EcoSport), Renault (Duster), and Suzuki (Jimny). Honda said it would bring a small SUV to Brazil in 2014, and Volkswagen unveiled a mini SUV concept, the Taigun, The compact SUV segment is one of the fastest-growing niches in the world’s fourth-largest auto market, but GM has no product.
In the meantime, the Trax will be sold in more than 140 markets, but not in Brazil yet. There are rumors of an expensive imported Trax, followed by a locally produced one, but Carlos Barba, head of GM design in Brazil, did not want to confirm this to Reuters.
“We are working on that. We have a plan. We’ll get there, but I cannot tell you the dates.”
It’s about time GM get’s its act together in that segment. “These guys are riding the wave for 10 years and we’re just looking at it,” Barba said. Protectionism can be a bitch if you sit on the wrong side of the fence.