Officially, no. The UAW is hard at work researching how and what factors drive Brazilian consumers to buy the cars they do. More specifically, the UAW wants to know if Brazilians consider or would be willing to consider work relations and conditions as factors in their decision. (Read More…)
Brazil is now the world’s fourth largest market. With sales of almost 4 million cars, the magical 5 million mark is not a mirage anymore. Accordingly, São Paulo, Latin America’s second largest city and the economic hub of the country, holds the grandest of the region’s trade shows. Known as the Salão do Automóvel de São Paulo, the fair expects to attract over 750 thousand visitors.
Marking its importance, everybody’s here. From VW’s Martin Winterkorn, to GM’s Dan Akerson and Ford’s Tim Foley, not to mention assorted honchos with names difficult to spell from a host of Asian makers, everybody wants a piece of the bootylicious Brazilian pie. I can’t remember another Saloon in which more stellar members of the rarefied pinnacles of the worldwide car industry were present and making themselves so accessible to the press.
Let’s take a walk through the Salão and see the highlights according to this auto scribe’s humble point of view. (Read More…)
Little known to many, Toyota’s first venture out of their home country was in Brazil. Over 50 years ago, they built factory here in which they manufactured a version of their Land Cruiser, called it Bandeirante and kept on building it, unchanged, for almost four decades. When the Brazilian market opened up (ever so slightly) in the 90s, Toyota was relatively quick and soon had a second factory in which they built their Corolla. That was it. Until the Etios arrived.
Convinced by recent policy changes in Brazil that make the life of a car importer miserable unless factories are built on Brazilian soil, Toyota built a new plant near Sao Paulo, and started to crank out its BRIC-car, the Etios. The Etios was originally launched in the eye of BRIC, in India. Now, the car comes to the B. In Brazil, the Etios is aimed at the very heart of the market, the compact car. It already causes heart palpitations. (Read More…)
Brazil has historically been a difficult place to do business. The government keeps foreigners out as best as it can, and that extends to vehicle importers as well. In the car business, you are welcome to market your wares as long as you build locally. Imported cars have always been expensive, and the costs are set to rise, as the government has taken new measures that affect both local makers and importers. Read this very closely before you ask for import restrictions into your country. (Read More…)
As evidenced in Matt Gasnier’s most excellent series, the Renault/Dacia/Logan/Sandero/Duster/Lodgy is making waves throughout the world. In a way, the multiple personality car is even present in North America, albeit under a Japanese kimono. Unbeknownst to most up there, when they buy a Nissan Versa, what they are getting is some solid Franco-Romanian engineering with some Japanese know-how thrown in for good measure.
The Beijing Car Show is the one to watch for Brazilian car aficionados. Though we drool and slobber over at what’s shown at NAIAS or in Paris, Brazilians must look elsewhere to see what’s coming to local showrooms. The New Delhi car show had some cars of interest, now it’s the Beijing show a Brazilian must watch.
My wife & I are about to have our first child in December. We visit Brazil (SJC, SP) typically twice per year to see my wife’s relatives. Usually each trip lasts about a month (I’m only there the last week or two). My wife has talked to me about possibly buying a car in Brazil because of our frequent travel there and our need to get around with an infant/toddler. During past visits, I drove or we took the bus together. Now that she’ll be taking an infant with her, she wants to be able to drive herself when I’m not there. We are also worried about safety using public transportation — A single mother & a baby/infant who may speak English at an inopportune time may appear to be an easy target for criminals. In any case, our current transportation options won’t work because they are not automatic & not as safe in an accident as we’d like.
Our current options are:
1974 (IIRC) VW Beetle with a 4 speed, 1.5L, 40’ish hp. — Not in any way safe enough for the baby.
2004? 2005? VW Polo, 5-speed, 1.8L. Not sure on HP but I’d guess it’s 90’ish ? 100? — 5 speed.
We are trying to decide if we want to buy new, or have my father-in-law help us look for something used. I’ve asked my wife about renting, but it’s not safe to leave an unsecured car outside overnight (and my in laws don’t have a gate secured spot in their house for a third car). I don’t think my brother-in-law would be opposed to an upgrade of his Beetle, so that is what we’ll most likely do.
Here are our requirements in order of need … (Listed in the response.)
Brazil provides the first letter of BRIC. Without the BRICs, we’d have tombstones for carmakers. How are we keeping the global auto business alive, down here in the Southern Cone? Follow me as I give you the highlights. (Read More…)
Our own Ed Niedermeyer recently penned an excellent and well-thought-out article involving the whole Fiat-Chrysler imbroglio. Now, I don’t work for Fiat. However, I do live in, arguably, Fiat’s most important production center. You can’t go anywhere without running into someone who works at Fiat. Heck, Fiat owns 50% of the car market in my city! (Read More…)
Ever wonder what Brazilians are buying? Well, Fenabrave (Brazilian Federation of Vehicle Distributors) breaks down the market into 16 rhymeless and reasonless categories (in technical terms). Being that, nowadays, some cars really are difficult to categorize, you could say that this breakdown at least helps you see how dealers market their wares.
Fiat walks away as the winner in 4 categories. Volkswagen and Chevrolet both take 3 wins. Honda leads in 2 categories, while Ford, Hyundai, Renault and Toyota all come out on top once.
The number behind the car is the Brazilian unit sales in 2011. Full listing with pictures after the jump. (Read More…)
GM do Brasil has been having many problems. Though dearly beloved by many Latin Americans, in Brazil its image has been severely tarnished. When GM promised a slew of new products that would substitute its ageing line, many doubted it. In fact, many doubted GM had it in them anymore. Like a phoenix, GM is being reborn. The new product onslaught is in full swing. First off the bat was the Cruze. Now, Chevrolet is really starting to put on offer its mission-critical small car, the Cobalt. Will it be enough?
First a little background. After a very prosperous and promising 90s, it seemed GM had called it quits in the 00s. Extreme penny pinching eliminated but the most basic forms of engineering and development. The interiors were the most hideous on this side of a Trabant. You get the picture. (Read More…)
Coming soon to a friendly dealer near you (if you live in Europe) and in a couple of months to another whole set of friendly dealers (if you live in Brazil), ladies and gentlemen, the totally brand-new, super exclusive, Italianate Fiat Freemont! Never seen before at Fiat dealers. This beast is all new. Well, to Fiat buyers anyway. (Read More…)