The Real Brazilian Winners 2011

Marcelo de Vasconcellos
by Marcelo de Vasconcellos

Recently, we did an article in which we predicted that the big losers in the Brazilian market, in perceptual terms, were Fiat, VW, Honda and Toyota. Well the numbers bore those predictions out.

Now it’s time to see who the big winners are. Not in ranking. In terms of growth dynamics. Those who gain more than the market grows gain market share. And that’s what really counts.

The big winners are: Kia, BMW, Nissan and Hyundai. You could also arguably add Renault to that list. In a market that grew 10.6 percent, all of them gained quite solidly. Now Kia. Wow! That Peter guy is greatly admired down here! Kia outpaced the market a whopping 100 percent.

See the list for the top 15 selling brands below, grouped by growth.

Maker20102009% Change1Kia54,44524,134125.62BMW8,5165,29161.03Nissan35,90823,27054.34Hyundai106,03371,06949.25Renault160,298117,52836.46Mercedes Benz13,0489,79233.37Citroën84,06369,30621.38Mitsubishi44,61137,50518.9MARKET3,328,6193,009,17510.69Ford336,298303,96410.610Chevrolet657,641595,43410.411Peugeot90,32481,86010.312Toyota99,57293,4826.513Fiat760,561736,8423.214Volkswagen697,257684,4091.915Honda126,166125,8820.2

So that’s how the top selling 15 car makers did in Brazil in 2010. Undoubtedly, if one of the Chinese had broken into the top 15, we would also be seeing Kia or BMW-like numbers. However they (the Chinese) are not here quite yet. Wait a year or two or three.

As you can see, the Brazilian market is split into a number of groups. The topselling are Fiat, VW and GM.

They all performed relatively badly in that they were unable to keep up with the market. Though all are producing near or at the top of their capacity. Fiat especially suffered from production undercapacity.

These numbers should be an early warning that Brazilians are tiring of the same old thing. In veering off so strongly into the loving arms of imports ( here and here) the alarm should be ringing in Betim, São Bernardo do Campo and São Caetano do Sul (industrial HQs for the 3 makers respectively).

Ford is in a weird position. Though selling half of what the leaders do, they are comfortably ahead of the biggest maker in the following pack.

The next pack is very diverse. In terms of sales, in terms of country of origin, in terms of market insertion strategies. We could include everyone from Citroën (with sales of around 80K) to Renault (around 160K). This pack would include an unwelcome new kid on the block. Unwelcome because they sell only imported cars (until now). Unwelcome because they’re rocking the boat. Unwelcome because they are putting in more content for a lesser price than their rivals can manage.

Hyundai. As soon as their new factory starts producing (in 2012), you may well see Hyundai separating itself from this pack and getting closer and closer to Ford. The Japanese especially are hurting. As they see many clients going Korean, their pride and their slightly emptier wallets demonstrate their disbelief.

There is then a little group that includes Mitsu, Nissan and Kia. Citroën was here last year, but by selling more, they joined the cluster above. Probably the same will happen to Kia. This year, if they grow at half what they did last year, they’ll be grouped in the pack above. Nissan, too has hopes of moving away from this group. Especially with the beginning of sales of the March compact car. As always, it will depend on price (no, Nissan has little or no cachet in Brazil).

Below them, the final group. That sells in tiny numbers. The German lux trio is here. So is Volvo, Jaguar, Ferrari. Not to mention Chery, Changhe, Effa, Lifan and JAC. Some of this group will soon head up and join Mitsubishi in the next level (sales at 30k to 40k per year). Guess who that’ll be? My bet? It won’t be the Germans!

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2 of 10 comments
  • Uaresb Uaresb on Jan 11, 2011

    hi Mercelo, Interesting analysis I was just wondering if you could share with me the pricing and auto financing rates in Brazil. Are cars more expensive than in the states? How much more expensive are imports? Also, what are the loan rates and tenors the dealers are now promoting? Thanks!

  • Eginer Eginer on Mar 04, 2011

    Marcelo how would you picture the perfect Brazilian car?

  • Vap65689119 Nice car, I think I'd rather have an SC430
  • Theflyersfan They might not be convertible friendly, but if they work on getting the last of the winter crud off of the car during the first spring wash, it's worth its weight in gold. So many of the self-serve car washes seem to have some kind of mechanical problem with one of the nozzles, or out of some chemicals - want to do that at home.
  • Bill Wade It's worked perfectly for me. Google maps is quite good and music streaming is flawless.
  • TheEndlessEnigma How much is TTAC getting from the Amazon referral links? Once again, nice ads camouflaged as an article.
  • Prabirmehta Great review! Brought back memories of my 2005 Z4 - loved it! I recently drove the 2023 Z4 and it felt similar in many ways to my 2005 (despite the much nicer and updated interior). Now your review has me rethinking whether to buy another one? :)