By on February 26, 2011

Everybody, please say hi to Matt Gasnier, our newest TTAC contributor. Matt has a strange car fetish: He counts them. Out of Sydney, Australia, Matt runs a blog named Best Selling Cars. If your want to know what cars sell best in Austria to Zimbabwe, Best Selling Cars is the go to site. What cars do Afghanistan and Sudan have in common?  The Hilux. Which car is most popular in Sweden? It’s not a Swedish car. Matt will grace TTAC regularly from now on. He wanted to know where he should start. My answer: “Wherever.”

Said Matt: “Why don’t I start with A.” – ED

Most of the car world is either still recovering from the GFC gloom or is suffering the hangover of a couple of artificially boosted years. Only a few countries are at their highest levels ever. Among them China and Brazil (doh!) but little do people know that Argentina also belongs to this super-exclusive club.

In 2010, 662,591 new cars changed hands in the country, up 29 percent on 2009. The math is simple: never before had Argentineans bought that many new cars in a single year. And January 2011 confirmed the trend: for the first time ever, more than 100,000 new cars were sold in a month  – 100,964 exactly. That’s twice as much as in (devastated) Spain in that same month.

VW, Chevrolet, Renault, Ford and Fiat do well in Argentina, but I’m not here to dwell on brands (I’ll leave that to much more talented writers on this site!), my thing is models sales.

Well, let me tell you there were a few interesting developments in the last few months in the Argentinean market…The overall market is led by the Chevrolet Classic, in actual fact a restyled 1993 Opel Corsa. But a few new models have made themselves noticed recently.

General PachecoArgentina is the first (and currently only until Hanover, Germany comes along in 2012) world production site for Volkswagen’s first heavy duty pick-up, the Amarok.

With the Toyota Hilux fairly and squarely in its sights, the Amarok has been slowly but surely climbing the Argentinean sales charts during the last few months. It hit the jackpot in December 2010: at #12 in the general ranking with 892 sales, it ranked above the Hilux (#19 at 625 sales) for the very first time in any country in the world.

The Toyota Hilux reclaimed the advantage in January but with only the Double Cab in concessions and the Single Cab still to be launched, the VW pick-up should see its sales progress further in 2011 and the battle between the two models will be intense.

Another interesting recent development in Argentina occurred in November 2010 when the Renault Sandero (aka Dacia Sandero) ranked #1. First launched in 2008 in Brazil and South America as a Renault then in Europe as a Dacia, the Sandero is now produced in 6 countries (Brazil, Colombia, Romania, South Africa, Morocco and Russia) but had never managed to top the sales rankings anywhere before then. It also does really well in Colombia (another country that broke its own record last year) where it ranked #3 over the full year 2010.

Lastly, a model that sparked a bit of controversy when launched, the Peugeot 207 Compact, is #1 for the first time in Argentina (and by the same token in any country in the world) in January 2011.

The Peugeot 207 Compact has actually nothing to do with the 207 launched in Europe and other parts of the world in 2006. It is in fact the Sedan version of the restyled Peugeot 206, called 206+ in Europe. How Peugeot thought they could get away with tricking a whole continent into believing this is a new car without anyone noticing is an enigma I would love one of our readers to solve for me!!

Anyhow, the model sold 4,653 units in January 2011 in Argentina, enough to make it the best seller in the country, just above the Chevrolet Classic.

I can hear some of you begging for more obscure and striking figures… Be my guest! Below is the Full Top 50 best selling cars in Argentina over the Full Year 2010, plus as a bonus the Top 50 for January 2011.

Argentina – Full Year 2010 Top 50:

Rank Model 2010 units Market share
1 Chevrolet Classic 36,058 5.4%
2 Peugeot 207 Compact 29,613 4.5%
3 VW Gol Trend 25,756 3.9%
4 Renault Sandero 24,302 3.7%
5 Ford Ecosport 21,389 3.2%
6 VW Suran 21,377 3.2%
7 VW Gol Power 18,731 2.8%
8 Toyota Hilux 18,244 2.8%
9 Renault Kangoo 16,204 2.4%
10 Fiat Palio 16,090 2.4%
11 Renault Clio 14,654 2.2%
12 Ford Ka 14,004 2.1%
13 Chevrolet Aveo 13,518 2.0%
14 Fiat Siena 13,238 2.0%
15 Chevrolet Agile 12,810 1.9%
16 Ford Ranger 12,433 1.9%
17 VW Voyage 11,957 1.8%
18 VW Bora 11,524 1.7%
19 Ford Fiesta One 11,272 1.7%
20 Ford Focus II 10,947 1.7%
21 VW Fox 10,311 1.6%
22 Peugeot Partner 9,608 1.5%
23 Honda Fit 9,123 1.4%
24 Citroen C4 8,878 1.3%
25 Fiat Punto 8,818 1.3%
26 Fiat Uno Fire 8,785 1.3%
27 Toyota Corolla 8,679 1.3%
28 Renault Logan 8,208 1.2%
29 Chevrolet S10 8,172 1.2%
30 Peugeot 307 8,125 1.2%
31 Renault Symbol 7,807 1.2%
32 Fiat Fiorino 7,563 1.1%
33 VW Amarok 7,560 1.1%
34 Chevrolet Meriva 6,635 1.0%
35 Nissan Tiida 6,527 1.0%
36 Suzuki Fun 6,374 1.0%
37 VW Vento 6,096 0.9%
38 Peugeot 206 5,881 0.9%
39 Chevrolet Astra 5,716 0.9%
40 Citroen C3 5,349 0.8%
41 Honda City 5,330 0.8%
42 Renault Megane II 5,123 0.8%
43 Citroen Berlingo 5,104 0.8%
44 VW Saveiro 4,044 0.6%
45 Honda CRV 3,685 0.6%
46 Chevrolet Vectra 3,507 0.5%
47 Renault Master 3,408 0.5%
48 Citroen Picasso 3,396 0.5%
49 Fiat Strada 3,292 0.5%
50 Mercedes Sprinter 3,114 0.5%

Argentina January 2011 Top 50:

Rank Model Jan units Share
1 Peugeot 207 Compact 4,653 4.60%
2 Chevrolet Classic 4,608 4.60%
3 Ford Ecosport 3,840 3.80%
4 Renault Sandero 3,441 3.40%
5 VW Gol Trend 3,171 3.10%
6 VW Suran 2,909 2.90%
7 Toyota Hilux 2,813 2.80%
8 Renault Clio 2,411 2.40%
9 Renault Kangoo 2,397 2.40%
10 VW Amarok 2,336 2.30%
11 Chevrolet Aveo 2,264 2.20%
12 Ford Focus II 2,212 2.20%
13 Fiat Siena 2,025 2.00%
14 Peugeot Partner 2,001 2.00%
15 Ford Ka 1,850 1.80%
16 VW Bora 1,807 1.80%
17 VW Voyage 1,757 1.70%
18 Chevrolet Agile 1,733 1.70%
19 Toyota Corolla 1,575 1.60%
20 VW Fox 1,574 1.60%
21 Honda Fit 1,523 1.50%
22 Ford Ranger 1,473 1.50%
23 Renault Logan 1,448 1.40%
24 Peugeot 307 1,402 1.40%
25 Fiat Uno 2010 1,374 1.40%
26 Fiat Palio 1,331 1.30%
27 Citroen C4 1,280 1.30%
28 Nissan Tiida 1,212 1.20%
29 Peugeot 206 1,146 1.10%
30 Fiat Punto 1,130 1.10%
31 Chevrolet S10 1,079 1.10%
32 Ford Fiesta Kinetic 1,075 1.10%
33 Fiat Uno Fire 1,064 1.10%
34 Renault Symbol 1,054 1.00%
35 Fiat Fiorino 1,051 1.00%
36 Honda City 1,044 1.00%
37 Renault Fluence 1,039 1.00%
38 VW Gol Power 968 1.00%
39 Ford Fiesta One 934 0.90%
40 Fiat Palio Weekend 910 0.90%
41 Citroen Berlingo 838 0.80%
42 Chevrolet Astra 837 0.80%
43 Citroen C3 794 0.80%
44 Dodge Journey 777 0.80%
45 Fiat Idea 701 0.70%
46 VW Vento 653 0.60%
47 VW CrossFox 651 0.60%
48 Chevrolet Meriva 646 0.60%
49 Chevrolet Corsa II 601 0.60%
50 Citroen Xsara Picasso 552 0.50%

More on

All figures are provided by ACARA, Asociacion de Concesionarios de Automotores de la Republica Argentina. See more details.

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19 Comments on “Argentina Goes Car-crazy!...”

  • avatar

    Welcome Matt, thanks for bringing more world wide information. If you are to cover the 200+ countries in the world, I am expecting many interesting weekend articles in the future.

    When visiting Argentina some 15 years ago, I remember seeing Peugeots and Renaults everywhere. This was specially interesting since back then those brands were not sold in Brazil.

    Now regarding the 207 Compact, the explanation for me is the same as why the Chevrolet Classic sells so well: the value proposition works for the buyer. They are not interested on how old the project is, if it fits the criteria – prominent among them, cost – it’s in! Also, see Brazil sales of the Classic, the VW Bus, Fiat Uno, etc. – same thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes but In Brazil they price the 207 Passion like crazy. Means totally, totaaly out. I eman I consider the 207 PAssion in same category as Siena, Classic, Logan et al. While some start at around 25K reais Peugeot has the cold blood to charge 40K for a Passion. Excuse me while I go to the bathroom and laugh

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks Autobraz!
      Well I have 154 countries covered so yes brace yourself for a lot of exotic car stories…
      It’s interesting what you say about the cost/value of the Peugeot 207 Compact. Building on what Marcelo is saying too, my understanding is in Brazil, the 207 and Sandero are actually priced at a premium (equivalent to 11,000 to 17,000 euros) nearly double their price in Europe where they are positioned as ‘low cost’ vehicles well under 10,000 euros. Is this different in Argentina? Would seem strange if so as you would only need to cross the border to buy the car at half price??

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Matt!

      Cars in Argentina cost about 30 percent less than in Brazil. However, just try buying one there and bringing it into Brazil, it just can’t be registered. Nonetheless, I’ve heard stories on how some people who live along the Paraguay border just buy their cars there and jusst run them in Brzil. Probably much easier as the states along that borddder (in comparison to those along the Argentina border) are much less organized and effective at inspections.

      Now, the Sandero sells in Brazil at well below 207 prices.

      BTW, in Argentina they don’t have the privilege of buying 1.0L cars. Talk about envy! (And Brazilians tend to think they’re better than Argentinians! We are just so naive…!

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    It’s interesting to see these markets where brands like Honda don’t crack the top 20.  A very different perspective from so much of the US-focussed content we usually see.

  • avatar


    the reason one used to see Renaults and Peuguots in such great numbers is that they were built in Argentina under license to IKA in Cordoba Argentina if memory serves.

    Those old argentine cars are the memories of my youth and can yap about them all day long!

  • avatar

    I wish I could find it online somewhere, but I can’t.  In the 1950s, Argentina had a project to build a national champion car.  The Volkswagen of Argentina.  Cheap and home-grown.  What made it special was the uniquely Argentine priorities in its design.  Was it boxy and practical with lots of space inside to carry people and stuff?

    No!  Perish the thought!  Argentines won’t accept something that wasn’t maximally stylish.  The car, though tiny and inexpensive, had totally flamboyant styling – little fins, big wrap-around windows, a sleek, low roof.  Absurdly stylish, managing to cram every style-leading design idea possible onto its tiny body. Everything a Beetle wasn’t – and everything a ’58 Oldsmobile was, but in one-third the space.  It might have had room for three midgets and their handbags, but no more.

    Does anyone know where to find a photo of this little oddity?

  • avatar

    Great to see TTAC getting more global and covering my country!!! Keep it up Matt and let me know if you need anything from the pampas.

  • avatar

    Out of Sidney, Australia, Matt runs a blog named Best Selling Cars.

    Really? If TTAC is serious about going global, how about brushing up on geography as it does no favours to what is usually a highly credible site.

  • avatar

    Hi Matt

    As to Argentina, so close but yet so far. Nothing like BRazil really. In Brazil right now Gol and Uno alone account for more than 1’0 percent of market. First thing I notice (and remember) is how well seedans do in Argentina, compared to Brazil. Example, Uno long survived Premio here, but if not mistaken Duna lasted at least 5 years more in Argentina than BRazil.

    Some thoughts.

    Wow. Classic market leader. Even BRazilians aren’t so gullible (!!!). 93 Euro COrsa platform plus last generation Chinese design. Whod thought it be such a winning formula the other side of the globe? In Brazil  it depends tottally on price. Discount it like hell, like hell it goes, the closer it gets to GM’s price |(wish???) list, the slower it sells. Kangoo in 10 th! Au contraire to Classic kudos to Argetina’s good taaste. Such cars in Brazil almost never break the 1k mark a month. And the Fiat Doblò commands more than 90 percent of market. IN fact, Renault has just pulled its Kangoo pasenger version from Brazil. Ridiculous Renault! Insistence is a key to win in Brazil.

  • avatar

    Welcome aboard, Matt.
    I had to notice no F150s in a country with as many cattle ranches as Texas. And the January sales listed the Dodge Journey – would that be the unibody 2011 model, or leftover 2010 BOF model?  I’m assuming the Amarok is more midsize (by American standards) than full size. Where (or what) are the work vehicles for ranches and farms?

    • 0 avatar

      Hey thanks Lorenzo,
      You are correct, the Ford F150 is nowhere to be seen in the Argentinean ranking. In fact only the Ford F100 is sold in Argentina, and with 230 sales in January it doesn’t make it to the Top 50. Ford’s ‘work horse’ in Argentina is the Ranger, ranking #16 in 2010 and #22 in January 2011.
      So the work vehicles for Argentinean ranches and farms are still pick-ups, just different ones from the US: the Toyota Hilux, VW Amarok, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S10, Fiat Strada and VW Saveiro.
      As far as the Dodge Journey selling in Argentina ( it looks to me as it is the same as the one sold in the US?
      Hope this helps

  • avatar

    The reason Peugeot managed to fool everyone in the continent (except Brazil and Chile) into thinking the 207 Compact is a new car is that people in South America are car-ignorant, or even worse, idiots. There are several reasons why the 207 Compact sells so well over here. First: it’s stylish. People love the design, specially girls. And having a good-looking car is very important in Argentina. This is also why Peugeot sells this as a premium: they can sell the car anyways and get HUGE profits. Thanks God the 207 Compact failed in Brazil, so we get an actual new car in 2013. As for the Classic selling so well, that’s because is cheap. It’s only rivals at that price are even crappier. The Sandero is an odd case. It didn’t sell so well until very recently, perhaps Renault has been making discounts to sell more cars. The regular Sandero isn’t sold at a premium. The Sandero Stepway IS sold at a premium, but that’s because it has airbags. Cars with airbags are expensive over here because customers are morons and car manufacturers are assholes.
    And please, don’t compare prices between Argentina or Brazil and anywhere else in the world. Our market is completely isolated and prices are set by the goverment and car manufacturers, not by true economics.

  • avatar

    Haha man this is one overly positive account of the shitstorm we hoons have to endure every day in this country.
    Let me start with this easy comparison: a base brazilian-made civic that lacks stuff even the cheapest US civic has had for over a decade, this shitbox costs over $27,000 here.

    The average wage here is $500 a month, do the math.

    Now the government has enacted an even higher tax for imports, so goodbye cheap yet better build and safer korean imports.
    Sedans? “big” hatchs are all the rage here, some people still buy the ugly-as-shit last restyling of the MKIV Golf. Yes, they still make those here, and it goes for even more than the Civic.

    The other big sector is the faux SUVs we get from brasil like the sandero there, which adds insult to injury with a higher ground clearance than the original but without ABS. ESP? thats not even an option here, only imports got that and those will be gone in a month now.

    So next time you bitch about not much it sucks that fomoco wont sell the focus ST, or how ugly the last impreza is, remember that you can always be in a much uglier situation.

    Like stuck in argentina for example…

  • avatar
    Gary Friderichsohn

    ohhh, that doesn’t sound good. I am expecting to move to Argentina to work in the agriculture sector. I wonder how plausible it would be to ship a pickup to AR? Like a 10 yeAr old Ford or Dodge Ram diesel.

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