Brazilians' New Baby-Darling Flying Off The Lots!

Marcelo de Vasconcellos
by Marcelo de Vasconcellos
brazilians new baby darling flying off the lots

As reported earlier, Fiat’s new baby is quickly becoming Brazilians’ new darling. But that was perception. Now cold hard numbers are coming in, and believe it or not, the new Uno is being adopted at record rates. Widely-read Brazilian car site Webmotors cites numbers of the Brazilian Motor Vehicles Distribution Federation Fenabrave. According to the official count, the new Uno, launched but a week ago, is already creating havoc with Brazilian car sales rankings.

In spite of challengers’ rash new launches (and even the new Chevy Malibu launch may have something to do with it, see my previous article), the spotlight is shining brightly on the new Uno. It has already amassed more sales in 7 days than its (slightly) bigger brother, the Fiat Palio could muster in 13 days (4,431 cars against 3,293). And it is in hot pursuit of VW’s Gol, which still tops the charts with a grand total of 6,585. That lead is deteriorating.

So far, the biggest victims of the new Uno’s onslaught are Fiat’s own Mille and Palio. But the competition (looking at you VeeDub!) is feeling the heat. Fiat has already been forced to lower the price of the Mille and Palio, and the competition may have to follow suit.

According to Webmotors queries, backed-up by proprietary research by yours truly, dealers are facing a curious situation. Despite the great demand for the little car, they still have some units to sell. But when these are gone (and they told me they will soon be), Brazilians may soon be facing price gouging if they want to lay their eager hands on Fiat’s new pretty baby. How much will Brazilians pay to be the first on the block with the new sensation?

We’ll be keeping an eye on it.

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4 of 5 comments
  • Dimwit Dimwit on May 19, 2010

    Hey guyys, quit shortchanging Marcelo! BS doesn't write *everything* on the site! MdV: Cute sells. Case in point, the NB. Same car as the Golf but still had conquest sales until the newness wore off. I'll wager that the Uno will have the same trend but if FIAT can get enough units into play before that happens, it'll be a huge success. The key to this whole thing is the factory. If they can't serve the pentup demand it may kill the cachet. Bears watching.

  • Obbop Obbop on May 20, 2010

    "Fenabrave" Sounds like a word used on a late-night TV commercial where yet another shyster encourages the masses to call in and become a part of some class-action lawsuit against yet another medication-creating/producing firm that has supposedly caused so much harm and YOU may receive a substantial monetary settlement though, in reality, after the lawyers and their legal system designed to maximize the wealth of those earning their wealth via that legal system, receive their share there is often a mere pittance for those actually harmed. Well, that's what came to mind when I read "Fenabrave"

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 21, 2010

    My first thought was, if Fiat now has to reduce prices on other models, they didn't anticipate Uno sales and the factory will need time to ramp up production. The usual pattern is for gouging to be replaced by a glut of overproduction later. Still, it looks like a very practical 4-door economy car, and should have staying power in the market. Only reliability issues could harm that, and seven days on the market is a little early for that. I'm sure Marcelo will keep us informed of any dips in the customer satisfaction surveys. Sergio is bringing the 500 to the US, and possibly the 4wd Panda. If the Uno is a success in Brasil, he might bring it here too. Honda's new Zest minicar, with turbo, low emissions and airbags, looks like it might be designed for future US sales, and the Uno could go head to head with it.

  • Leonardo Lino de Campos Leonardo Lino de Campos on Jul 12, 2010

    Keep in mind that the Fenabrave lumps sales of the old Uno (the "Mille") together with those of the new one. Early on, the mix was 45% new Uno and 55% Mille, but apparently quickly shifting towards a greater share for the new model.