Brazil August 2016: Onix and HB20 sparkle, VW at lowest ever share

VW Saveiro Brazil August 2016. Picture courtesy slope: VW could soon drop below 10% share in Brazil, a first since 1953. 

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The Rio Olympic Games seem to have distracted the car market into a softer drop in August at -11% to 178.103 registrations, with the year-to-date total down a much sharper 23% to 1.303.987. Atop the Brazilian brands ranking, what was once an intense three-way fight for the pole position has now become a two-man contest: Chevrolet holds onto the #1 spot thanks to sales up an incredible (in the current context) 14% to 30.735 and 17.3% while Fiat is down 18% to 29.568 and 16.6%. Volkswagen no longer competes: the German brand sees its volume skid down 34% to 18.664 and 10.5% share. Based on BSCB calculations, this should be VW’s lowest ever market share in Brazil since it started manufacturing and selling the “Fusca” (Beetle) 62 years ago in 1954. It is to be compared with the 20.5% market share the brand commanded less than four years ago in January 2013.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil August 2016The Chevrolet Onix signs a 13th consecutive month as the best-selling car in Brazil. 

VW now joins Ford (9.8%), Toyota (9.7%), Hyundai (9.5%) and Renault (7.9%) in the fight for the third step of the podium. At this little game, Toyota (+16%) and Hyundai (+2%) both post year-on-year gains in August while Renault (-8%) and Ford (-16%) decline. Further down, below Honda freefalling at -31%, Nissan (+23%) is in great shape thanks to the all-new Kicks small crossover, already the brand’s best-seller at #32 and accounting for 31% of Nissan’s August sales. BMW (+2%) and Volvo (#19) also shine, while Chinese Chery (-44%) and Lifan (-42%) are kept outside the Top 20 this month, with the Lifan X60 (-41%) and Chery Celer Sedan (+106%) the best-selling Chinese nameplates in Brazil.

Hyundai HB20 Brazil August 2016The Hyundai HB20 is up 12% and the #2 best-selling model in Brazil. 

Both facelifted, the Chevrolet Onix (+13%) and Hyundai HB20 (+12%) continue to defy gravity atop the models ranking, joined on the podium by the Ford Ka (+2%). The Renault Sandero (#5), Toyota Corolla (+5%), Chevrolet Prisma (+22%), Toyota Etios Hatch (+29%), Etios Sedan (+41%) and Ford Ecosport (+4%) post solid scores inside the Top 20 whereas the VW Gol (-23%), Fiat Palio (-27%), Fiat Strada (-32%) and VW Fox (-45%) freefall – all relics of a long-gone epoch when obsolete technology was still good enough for Brazil. Fiat places both its Toro (4.291 sales) and Mobi (3.840) inside the Top 15.

Previous month: Brazil July 2016: Nissan Kicks lands for Olympics, market down 20%

One year ago: Brazil August 2015: Chevrolet Onix takes the lead for the first time

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Brazil July 2016: Nissan Kicks lands for Olympics, market down 20%

Nissan Kicks Brazil July 2016The Nissan Kicks lands at #56 in Brazil this month.

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Just in time for the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, we give you the July 2016 update for the Brazilian new light vehicle market. And unfortunately it’s not good news with another 20% year-on-year plunge to 174.792 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total down 24% to 1.125.905 units. Chevrolet celebrates 10 consecutive months atop the Brazilian brands ranking and dips just 4% to 29.577 sales and 16.9% share vs. 28.708 and 16.4% (-25%) for Fiat and 21.502 and 12.3% (-31%) for Volkswagen. Toyota brilliantly gains 2% to overtake both Ford (-36%) and Hyundai (-14%) for 4th place overall with Renault (-16%), Honda (-30%), Nissan (-2%) and Jeep (+13%) rounding out the Top 10.

Chevrolet Onix Activ Brazil July 20162017 Chevrolet Onix

Model-wise, the Chevrolet Onix also celebrates a milestone – 12 consecutive months in pole position – and doesn’t loosen its grip on the charts by any measure, even posting a stunning 8% year-on-year increase to 11.591 sales and 6.6% share thanks to a new generation. Note the sedan variant, the Prisma, also facelifted, is in olympic shape as well at +1% in 6th place. The Onix’s direct follower is once again the Hyundai HB20 (for the 7th consecutive time), also in positive at +2% to 9.697 units and 5.5%. The Ford Ka (-22%) and VW Gol (-11%) gain market share but the Fiat Palio (-47%) implodes in 5th place.

Fiat Mobi Brazil July 2016. Picture courtesy Mobi

The Jeep Renegade (+18%) resumes its domination of the SUV segment at #10, now above the Honda HR-V, down 2% to #11 while a new entrant makes its appearance: the Nissan Kicks at #56 with 590. Fiat’s recent launches consolidate their position: the Toro is down two spots to #13 but remains the 2nd best-selling pickup in the country below the Fiat Strada (#7), and the Mobi is up two ranks to #17 with 3.604 sales, more than the Uno (-52%).

Previous post: Brazil First Half 2016: Fall accelerates to -25%, Chevrolet takes charge

Previous month: Brazil June 2016: Chevrolet Onix and Renault Sandero impress

One year ago: Brazil July 2015: Jeep Renegade teases Honda HR-V for #1 SUV

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Brazil First Half 2016: Fall accelerates to -25%, Chevrolet takes charge

Chevrolet Cobalt Brazil June 20162016 Chevrolet Cobalt – Chevrolet toppled Fiat as the most popular brand in Brazil. 

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Far from levelling out, the situation is getting darker and darker for the Brazilian new car market in the midst of the economic and political instability that has plagued the country for the past few years. The descent to hell is accelerating: -25% over the first six months of 2016 compared to -19% a year ago. At just 951.206 deliveries over the period, new car sales in Brazil drop below the million mark halfway through the year for the first time a full decade. In 3 years – since the 1.707.814 sales hit in 6 months in 2013 – the Brazilian market has depressingly shrunk by almost half.

Hyundai HB20S Brazil June 2016. Picture courtesy leaps up to #4 brand overall in Brazil so far in 2016. 

If Chevrolet managed to nudge into positive territory for the first time in 2.5 years in June, its year-to-date performance is only just above the market at -23% to 16.6% share but its immediate followers Fiat (-39%) and Volkswagen (-36%) literally fall apart. A year ago, Fiat was still and by far the most popular manufacturer in Brazil with 18.6% share but now only holds 15.1% of a freefalling market. As we’ll see further down, Fiat has started to throw everything it can into the market with two significant new launches this year but so far it hasn’t been enough to stop the bleeding.

Fiat Toro Brazil June 2016The Toro may enable Fiat to slow down its freefall during the remainder of 2016. 

Hyundai (-5%) and Toyota (-1%) are the real winners atop the ranking. The Korean manufacturer gains one spot compared to a year ago to brilliantly establish itself in 4th position and sees its market share shoot up from 7.9% to a very symbolic 10.1% so far this year. Toyota for its part improves from 6.8% to 9%. Once one of the Big 4 in Brazil, Ford implodes 40% to erode its market share from 10.6% to 8.5%. Renauit (-22%) and Honda (-14%) improves marginally while Jeep (+234%) still benefits from the start of its production localisation. Peugeot (+2%) is the only other carmaker with volume gains in the Top 20.

Chevrolet Onix Brazil May 2016The Chevrolet Onix is now the uncontested market leader in Brazil.

If the Onix was the first Chevrolet in 30 years to finish the year at #1 in 2015, a year ago over H1 2015 the Fiat Palio was still holding the torch. How times have changed. In the space of one year, the Palio has lost half its sales (-49%) and dropped four spots to #5, returning where it had been for the past two decades: below the VW Gol (#4). Meanwhile the Onix is the new uncontested market leader, incredibly improving 23% in a market down 25% to 68.535 sales and 7.2% share (it held just 4.4% a year ago). In its shadow, the Hyundai HB20 has also hit the bullseye: up 9% to 55.922 and gaining almost two percentage points of market share from 4% over H1 2015 to 5.9% now. The Ford Ka takes advantage of its relaunch to gain two spots and round up the podium despite evolving exactly like the market at -25%.

Toyota Corolla Brazil June 2016. Picture courtesy Corolla

Down just 0.1%, the Toyota Corolla slashes its ranking in two, going from #13 a year ago to #6 now, to BSCB’s knowledge the highest ranking ever held by a Toyota in Brazil. The Honda HR-V continues to dominate the SUV ranking thanks to sales up 76% to #8 ahead of the Jeep Renegade at #12. Painful declines for the VW Fox (-38%), Saveiro (-40%), Fiat Siena (-41%), Strada (-47%) and Uno (-58%). Even though it is almost exactly at the expense of the Strada, Fiat has got an instant blockbuster in its hands with the Toro pickup(#20) but the same can’t be said (yet?) for the Mobi (#41).

Previous post: Brazil June 2016: Chevrolet Onix and Renault Sandero impress

One year ago: Brazil 1st Half 2015: Fiat Palio #1, models ranking turned upside down

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Brazil June 2016: Chevrolet Onix and Renault Sandero impress

Chevrolet Onix Brazil June 2016. Picture courtesy carros2016.comThe Chevrolet Onix is up 30% year-on-year in June in a market down 19%.

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As the Rio Olympics approach, the Brazilian light vehicle market is stuck in double-digit year-on-year declines with June volumes down another devastating 19% to just 166.410 units. Year-to-date, the damage settles for -25% to fall below the million units at 951.206. If the Top 8 brands remain unchanged on May, they evolve in contrasting directions. Chevrolet manages to post a positive result for the first time in almost 2.5 years – since February 2014 – at +2% to 28.107 registrations and 16.9% share, now a safe 2.600 units above Fiat and 7.200 above Volkswagen, the latter two brands both freefalling 30% this month. Hyundai (-7%) maintains itself above 10% share while Toyota edges up 2% to 9.3% share. Renault (-12%) improves its share slightly but Jeep (+25%) and Peugeot (+8%) deliver the two other – and largest – gains in the Top 20. In the luxury aisle, Audi (-15%) and BMW (-13%) fall slower than the market but Mercedes (-41%) implodes.

Renault Sandero Brazil June 2016. Picture courtesy Renault Sandero hits a best-ever third place overall in Brazil in June. 

Chevrolet’s historical shift into positive territory solely – and logically – relies upon its tailored Brazilian offering: the Onix is up a staggering 30% to 11.566 sales and 7% share and its sedan variant is up another 18% to 5.525 and 3.3% of the market. The Hyundai HB20 holds onto the #2 spot with sales up 4% to 9.533 while the Renault Sandero shoots up 6 spots on May to land on the Brazilian podium for the very first time, its previous best ranking being #4 last December. The VW Gol (-18%) and Ford Ka (-17%) fall just a little bit slower than the market and round up the Top 5. Below. The Fiat Strada (-39%), Palio (-59%), Uno (-51%) and Siena (-48%) as well as the VW Fox (-45%), Saveiro (-34%) and Voyage (-42%) all but get wiped out. The Jeep Renegade is still ascending at +31% to #12, as are the new Ford Ranger (+35%) and Hyundai Tucson (+20%). Finally, the Fiat Toro improves further to stop just 295 sales off the Top 10 at #11 and more than compensates for the Strada’s fall (4.040 sales vs. -3.374) but the Fiat Mobi is struggling to truly take off at #19 and just 2.822 just when the Palio, Uno, Siena and Punto lost a combined 12.383 units (from 22.638 to 10.255) compared to June 2015.

Previous month: Brazil May 2016: Chevrolet Onix superstar in market down 21%

One year ago: Brazil June 2015: Fiat Palio #1, Jeep Renegade approaches Top 20

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Brazil May 2016: Chevrolet Onix superstar in market down 21%

Chevrolet Onix Brazil May 2016The Chevrolet Onix tightens its grip on the Brazilian market… 

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Another downward spiralling month for new light vehicle sales in Brazil, down 21% year-on-year in May to 162.170 units, pulling the year-to-date total down an abysmal 26% to 784.813. Thanks to the Onix still galloping ahead in the models charts, Chevrolet gets its head out of the water with sales down just 9% to 27.754, resulting in an improved 17.1% market share. This to be contrasted with a 34% drop at Fiat and 30% drop at Volkswagen. Hyundai (-1%) and Toyota (-2%) both improve their market share leaps and bounds, with Ford falling apart at -40% above Renault and Honda both down slightly slower than the market at -17%. Jeep continues to be the brand success story in Brazil thanks to the locally-produced Renegade with sals up 61% to 4.508 in 9th place, once again joined in the positive ranks by Peugeot (+12%).

Fiat Mobi Brazil May 2016…while the Mobi wreaks amok in Fiat’s small hatch lineup… 

As touched on above, the Chevrolet Onix manages the incredible feat of stepping up 33% year-on-year in a market down 21% to hit 10.896 sales and 6.7% share vs. 4% a year ago, with year-to-date volumes now up 21% to 56.969 and its sedan variant the Prisma also gains ground at +3% in 6th place overall.  The Hyundai HB20 is also in positive once again at +5% to 9.247 deliveries, leading to a 2016 tally of 46.389, up 10% on the same period in 2015. The VW Gol posts a second consecutive month on the podium , losing less ground tan the market for once at -13% to 6.914 units and taking advantage of the crumbling down of Fiat’s best-sellers. The arrival of the Mobi, the smallest but not the cheapest Fiat in Brazil, is wreaking amok in Fiat’s lineup, a very similar effect to the one the similarly positioned Up had on Volkswagen sales at launch.

Main Fiat models – Brazil sales May 2016/May 2015:

Model May-16 May-15 /15 2016 2015 /15
Fiat Palio 5,290 10,469 -49% 27,628 52,177 -47%
Fiat Siena 2,883 4,559 -37% 16,118 26,939 -40%
Fiat Mobi 2,407 0 new 3,563 0 new
Fiat Uno 1,868 6,855 -73% 15,552 38,065 -59%
Fiat Punto 667 1,327 -50% 4,508 7,136 -37%
Fiat Strada 4,274 7,354 -42% 23,637 45,834 -48%
Fiat Toro 3,526 0 new 11,704 0 new
Others 11,302 14,233 -21% 55,382 82,821 -33%
Total Fiat 23,750 36,116 -34% 118,243 200,002 -41%

Fiat Toro Brazil May 2016. Picture courtesy…and the Fiat Toro gobbles up sales. 

If the Mobi is up a further 17 spots on April to knock at the Top 20’s door (#21 with 2.407 sales), the incremental deliveries it brings are far from compensating the other models’ freefall: the Palio is down 49%, the Siena down 37%, the Uno down 73% and the Punto down 50%. The good news for Fiat comes from the pickup aisle: the tremendously successful Fiat Toro pickup ranks #14 overall and 2nd best-selling pickup in the country this month and when adding sales of the Strada, total Fiat pickup sales are up 6% year-on-year to 7.800 units.

Toyota Etios Brazil May 2016. Picture courtesy Etios

Among nameplates managing year-on-year gains in May, let’s point out the Honda HR-V up 3% to #8 overall and best-selling SUV in the country, the Jeep Renegade up 77% to #10, the Toyota Hilux up 27% to #17 thanks to the new generation and the Toyota Etios Sedan up 7% to #19 thanks to a push to taxi companies, the latter two nameplates helping stabilise Toyota sales in Brazil. Further down, the Renault Oroch remains in the Top 40, the Citroen Aircross breaks into the Top 50 for the first time, the BMW X1 is up 18% to #61 and the Mercedes GLE makes its first appearance in the ranking at #113. The Lifan X60 reclaims the title of best-selling Chinese in Brazil at #99 above the Chery Celer at #104 and the JAC T5 at #107.

Previous month: Brazil April 2016: Fiat Toro 2nd best-selling pickup, Mobi in Top 40

One year ago: Brazil May 2015: Ford Ka on podium, Honda HR-V superstar

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Brazil April 2016: Fiat Toro 2nd best-selling pickup, Mobi in Top 40

Fiat Toro Brazil April 2016Both Pickup and SUV, the Fiat Toro is a total success in Brazil. 

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No sign of recovery for the Brazilian market with April deliveries down 26% year-on-year to 157.579 and down 28% year-to-date to 622.620 units. Brand-wise, Chevrolet leads the way and follows the market at -24% to 16,4% share, ahead of Fiat (-35%) and Volkswagen (-32%) both in great difficulty. Hyundai stands out with sales down just 3%, the result of a shift to local production a few years back. Toyota (-11%) also fares well in the Top 5 but Ford tumbles down 46% and both Renault (-23%) and Honda (-22%) only lose slightly less ground than the market. The bright-shining light is once again Jeep: thanks to the locally produced Renegade, the American brand is up 414% to consolidate its spot within the Brazilian Top 10 at #9 with 4.182 sales. Just outside the Top 10 at #11 Peugeot manages to deliver an outstanding 35% year-on-year gain.

Fiat Mobi Brazil April 2016The Fiat Mobi is already having an impact on the top of the Brazilian sales charts. 

In the models ranking, both the Chevrolet Onix (+21%) and Hyundai HB20 (+12%) continue to display insolent health atop the sales charts, posting double-digit gains where the market is stuck at double-digit declines. The VW Gol surprises with a return on the podium thanks to sales down just 13% due to a reshuffle in Fiat’s lineup. The arrival of the Mobi (#38 with 1.062 sales) has hurt the Palio greatly: it is down 54% to #11, while the Uno is even more harshly hit at -61% to #17. The Gol has therefore taken advantage of a vacuum left at the bottom of Fiat’s lineup and the Palio loses the #3 YTD spot to the Ford Ka in the process.

Toyota Corolla Brazil April 2016. Picture courtesy Toyota Corolla hits a record 4th place overall in Brazil this month. 

Meanwhile the Toyota Corolla continue to discreetly climb up the ladder, now reaching an incredible 4th place overall thanks to sales up 1% to 5.825. This is simply the Corolla’s best-ever monthly ranking in Brazil throughout a career that spans over three decades. Let’s not forget the Honda HR-V consistent at the highest levels with another #5 spot this month. Another very significant shift happening before our eyes in a Brazilian market that has never evolved so fast: the Fiat Toro surges to #13 to become the 2nd best-selling pickup in the country (3.954) below just the Fiat Strada (5.427). The Toro thus frankly outsells such blockbusters as the VW Saveiro (3.042), Toyota Hilux (2.744), Chevrolet S10 (1.871) and VW Amarok (968). The Renault Oroch (1.179) is also starting to make its mark on the Brazilian stage.

JAC T5 Brazil April 2016. Picture courtesy JAC T5 (aka Refine S3) has landed in Brazil.

Chinese manufacturers had made themselves rather discreet in the past few months, but in April we see the return of JAC inside the Top 20 brands at #19 with 280 sales – albeit amounting to a 34% decline – outselling Lifan at #20 and 262 (-38%). There is one reason behind this resurgence: the launch of the T5 SUV which is none other than the Refine S3 – an absolute blockbuster at home in China. The JAC T5 breaks into the Brazilian Top 100 for the first time in April at #91 with 152 sales, also becoming the best-selling Chinese nameplate in the country above the Lifan X60 (#98) and Chery Celer (#114).

Previous month: Brazil March 2016: Honda HR-V up to #4, Fiat Toro at Toyota Hilux level

One year ago: Brazil April 2015: Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade take off

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Brazil March 2016: Honda HR-V up to #4, Fiat Toro at Toyota Hilux level

Fiat Toro Brazil March 2016The Fiat Toro already sells as much as the Toyota Hilux in Brazil. 

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Another very tough month for the Brazilian new car market still firmly held back by recession. Volumes are down 23% year-on-year in March to 173.275 units, pulling the first Quarter result down a depressing 28% to 465.056 units. Chevrolet confirms it is the new leader in town: its 27% drop to 26.986 sales is a better hold than followers Fiat (-37%) and Volkswagen (-35%). Hyundai holds onto an outstanding 4th position overall with a round 10% market share, distancing Toyota (9.8%) and Ford (8.9%). Thanks to sales down just 4%, Nissan remains 9th above Jeep, still and by far the best performing manufacturer in Brazil – up 14-fold on March 2015 – thanks to the kick start of the Renegade’s local production. Peugeot impresses also with sales up 27%, as does Audi at +12%.

Honda HR-V Brazil March 2016. Picture courtesy Honda HR-V is the 4th best-selling model in Brazil in March, its highest ranking ever here. 

The Chevrolet Onix is the best-selling nameplate in the country for the 8th consecutive month, managing an incredible 28% year-on-year gain to 12.192 units and 7% share, flanked by the Hyundai HB20 also very impressive with volumes up 15% to 6% share. The Ford Ka (-11%) rounds up the podium but the hero of the month is the locally produced Honda HR-V, up 154% on March 2015 to a record 4th place overall with 6.059 sales. The HR-V now dominates the Brazilian SUV segment, towering above the Jeep Renegade (4.284), Ford Ecosport (2.327) and Renault Duster (2.187).

Fiat Mobi Brazil March 2016. Picture courtesy Mobi. Picture courtesy 

The Fiat Strada (-46%), Palio (-49%) and Uno (-54%) all suffer greatly, but the Italian brand is banking on two newcomers with great potential: the Toro pickup slices in February ranking in two to brilliantly break into the Top 20 at #19 with 3.080 units. This means the Toro is now Brazil’s third best-selling pick-up below the Strada (5.357) and Toyota Hilux (3.442) and just above the VW Saveiro (3.040). Fiat’s new minicar, the Mobi, lands at #108 wit 94 pre-sales as the nameplate’s launch is slated for April 13 with an estimated sub-US$ 8.000 starting price. Fiat is not positioning the Mobi below the Uno, rather as a youthful alternative similar to what Volkswagen did with the Gol when launching the Up – with disastrous consequences. The Mobi should rise up the ranking fast, or else Fiat will find itself in as much of a precarious situation in Brazil as VW currently is.

Previous month: Brazil February 2016: Onix leads, HR-V and Toro take off

One year ago: Brazil March 2015: Fiat Strada and Chevrolet Onix on top

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Brazil February 2016: Onix leads, HR-V and Toro take off

Fiat Toro Brazil February 2016. Picture courtesy futuristic Fiat Toro is already the #6 pickup in Brazil. 

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After losing a devastating 39% in January, Brazilian new car sales slow down their alarming freefall in February at a still very significant -21% to 142.068 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total down 31% to 291.748 units. As it has been the case for a couple of years now, the Big 3 local manufacturers fall even faster than the market: Chevrolet cements its newfound leadership despite sales down 23% to 21.723, above Fiat (-40%) and Volkswagen (-36%). Reversely, Hyundai (+6%), Toyota (+9%) and Nissan (+8%) astonishingly manage to go against the grain, posting year-on-year gains, but none more so than Jeep, up 17-fold on February 2015 to #10 overall with 4.050 sales thanks to the kickstart of the Renegade’s local production.

Honda HR-V Brazil February 2016. Picture courtesy Honda HR-V hits a record 6th place overall in February.

Model-wise, the Chevrolet Onix confirms it is now the uncontested leader of the Brazilian market, surging by an incredible 49% on a year ago to 10.326 sales and 7.3% share, distancing the Hyundai HB20 (+20%), Ford Ka (-14%) and Fiat Palio (-40%). The next two nameplates hit their best-ever monthly ranking in Brazil: the Toyota Corolla is up 14% to #5 with 4.997 sales while the Honda HR-V reclaims the title of #1 SUV in the country off the Jeep Renegade thanks to 4.711 deliveries in 6th position overall. The Hyundai HB20S (+9%), Toyota Etios Hatch (+23%), Hilux (+8%), Etios Sedan (+8%) and Renault Clio (+26%) are the only other nameplates posting year-on-year gains inside the Top 30.

Fiat Toro back Brazil February 2016. Picture courtesy Toro. Picture courtesy 

Further down, we witness the birth of a new blockbuster pickup truck: the futuristic-looking Fiat Toro, built on a Jeep Renegade platform. Up to #38 with 1.117 sales in February, it already commands a three month-long waiting list and ranks #6 pickup in the nation for its first full month of sales. Still leader with 4.590 sales, the smaller Palio-based Fiat Strada suffers (-47%) as does the Gol-based VW Saveiro down 37% to 2.927 deliveries. The Toyota Hilux (2.249) is up 8% while the Ford Ranger (1.218) and Chevrolet S10 (1.179) fall at -18% and -53% respectively, already in the Toro’s line of fire, itself above the VW Amarok (948) and Renault Oroch (821). The next few months will tell whether the Toro can co-exist at high sales levels along the Strada or whether some cannibalisation will occur.

Previous month: Brazil January 2016: Jeep Renegade in Top 5, market down 39%

One year ago: Brazil February 2015: VW Up in Top 10, threatens Golf

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Brazil January 2016: Jeep Renegade in Top 5, market down 39%

Jeep Renegade Brazil January 2016. Picture courtesy motortrend.comThe Jeep Renegade brilliantly breaks into the Brazilian Top 5 for the first time this month.

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Brazilian new light vehicle sales continue to skid off track and down into oblivion, losing 39% or nearly 100.000 units compared to a year ago at just 149.699 deliveries. Chevrolet confirms it is the new brand in command despite falling faster than the market at -42%. Its 18.1% market share is well above its 2015 level (15.7%) whereas Fiat (-54%) and Volkswagen (-47%) lodge significant share losses. Hyundai continues its irresistible progression, teasing the symbolic 10% share mark thanks to sales down “just” 16% to 14.803. Toyota (-6%) and Honda (+3%) do even better while Ford implodes at -54%. Jeep confirms it is now a blockbuster brand in Brazil, holding onto its 9th spot with 5.079 sales, 98.3% of which comes from the Renegade, up to an incredible 5th place overall in the Brazilian models ranking this month. Notice also Mercedes (-25%), Audi (-26%) and most impressively Land Rover (+15%) managing spectacular share gains in this depressed context.

Chevrolet Onix Hyundai HB20 Brazil January 2016Both the Chevrolet Onix and Hyundai HB20 break their market share records in January.

In the models ranking, the Chevrolet Onix at 8.7% share and Hyundai HB20 at 6% reign supreme, both delivering record market share levels and almost double that achieved over the Full Year 2015 thanks to sales down just 4% and up 0.3% respectively. It’s a totally new order than even 18 months ago: then the VW Gol and Fiat Palio were fighting for the pole position, the Palio is now down 44% to #3 and the Gol down 50% #11. In 4th position, the Chevrolet Prisma breaks its ranking record despite sales down 30% to 5.467. Also assembled locally, the Honda HR-V follows the Jeep Renegade’s lead and also hots an all-time high ranking at #8. The Toyota Corolla manages to improve its volumes by 6% to #9, the Hyundai HB20S is down just 12% to get dangerously close to a historical Top 10 ranking at #1 while the Toyota Etios Hatch (+20%) and Sedan (+38%) surprise with their year-on-year gains.

Citroen Aircross Brazil January 2016The Citroen Aircross replaces the C3 Aircross.

Among recent launches, the Renault Oroch remains well inside the Top 50 at #42 (#37 in December), the Peugeot 2008 gets tantalisingly close to it at #51, the all-new Citroen Aircross – replacing the outgoing C3 Aircross – shoots up to #59 and 478 deliveries for its first full month in market, the Jaguar XE makes its first appearance at #137 and the Fat Toro remains discreet (#138) ahead of its official launch later in 2016.

Previous post: Brazil Full Year 2015: Onix first Chevrolet best-seller in 30 years

One year ago: Brazil January 2015: Fiat Palio and Chevrolet Onix fight for pole position, VW Gol down to lowest ranking in 32 years

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Brazil Full Year 2015: Onix first Chevrolet best-seller in 30 years

Chevrolet Onix Brazil 2015. Picture courtesy Chevrolet Onix is the best-selling vehicle in Brazil in 2015. Picture

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2015 was a year to forget fast for new light vehicle sales in Brazil: down an abysmal 26% year-on-year to 2.476.904 registrations – that’s 850.000 less deliveries than in 2014, or 3.300 less every business day. In one single year the Brazilian market cancelled 8 years worth of growth as we returned to the sales level of 2007 (2.342.059). Brazil drops 3 spots in the worldwide ranking from #4 to #7, overtaken by Germany, India and the UK. And the worst is probably yet to come the country enters its longest economic recession since 1930 with four consecutive quarters of contraction in 2015. Annual inflation accelerated to 10.7%, the fastest since 2002, and is not expected to slow down significantly in 2016 while the real crumbled by more than 30% against the dollar.

VW Gol Brazil 2015The Gol (-55%) pulled Volkswagen sales down an abysmal 38% in 2015.

Brazil’s economy has been affected by the drop in oil, iron and copper prices and a heavy dependence on exports to China meant the slowdown there is particularly painful for the local economy. But perhaps more alarmingly for 2016, the consumer morale is at its lowest, with household spending receding much faster than the economy itself (-4.5% vs. -1.7% in Q3 ’15). An unprecedented bribery scandal at the government-run oil company Petrobras has scared foreign investors away and brought calls for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, who only has a 10% approval rating (source Datafolha). Some analysts describe Brazil as currently being in an economic and political paralysis.

Lifan 530 Brazil February 2015Lifan should become the #1 Chinese brand in Brazil in 2016.

This grim context has brought a raft of momentous shifts in the Brazilian car market. Chevrolet (387.971 sales, down 33%) led the overall market in each of the last 3 months of the year, but this wasn’t sufficient to overtake Fiat annually: the Italian carmaker holds onto the top spot despite a 37% drop to 439.165 units. Volkswagen accelerates its freefall at -38% to 359.494 deliveries: the German carmaker was down an incredible 58% in December, the most worrying element is this fall is unrelated to its current emissions scandal, rather a decades-long inertia that means most of its range is now out-of-date and out-of-sync with Brazilian consumers’ changing tastes. A momentous event: the Top 3 carmakers in Brazil (Fiat-Chevrolet-VW) fall below 50% share for the first time in decades at 47.9% vs. 55.7% in 2014.

Jeep Renegade Brazil 2015The Renegade single-handedly transformed Jeep into a mainstream brand in Brazil.

Ford limits its fall to 18% and crosses the symbolic 10% market share milestone at 10.2%, Hyundai is down just 14% to overtake Renault and land in 5th place with 8.3% share and Toyota (-10%) gains over one percentage point of market share to 7.1%. A handful of manufacturers manage a stellar year in Brazil: the most impressive of them is without contest Jeep, which inaugurated its first factory in Goiana Pernambuco late last year to manufacture the Renegade. This move sees Jeep increase its Brazilian sales 13-fold from 3.309 in 2014 to 41.791 this year. Better still: the Renegade was the best-selling SUV in the country during the last quarter of the year, culminating at an incredible 6th place with 6.976 sales in December.

Honda HR-V Brazil 2015. Picture courtesy HR-V means Honda is up 11% this year in Brazil.

Honda is in a similar situation, up 11% to go from 4.1% share in 2014 to 6.2% this year thanks to the HR-V production localisation. The HR-V broke into the overall Top 10 three times including in December with a record 6.537 units (#9), finishing the year at #16 – the most popular all-new entrant of 2015 and by far the best-selling SUV in the country (51.155) above the Renegade (39.187), Duster (34.325, down 30%) and Ecosport (33.861, down 38%). As is often the case in times of deep crisis, luxury brands are unaffected, even improving year-on-year: Mercedes is up 29%, Audi up 40% and BMW up 5%. Notice also local fare Troller up 36% and Subaru up 25%. Chery (-44%) is the most popular Chinese brand at #19 above JAC (-40%) and Lifan (-5%) which should shoot up to 1st place in 2016.

Chevrolet Monza Brazil 1987. Picture courtesy last (and only other) Chevrolet to top the Brazilian charts was the Monza in 1986.

It’s a proper earthquake atop the 2015 Brazilian models ranking: only one year after the Fiat Palio ended 19 the two decades-long VW Gol reign, the best-seller trophy already changes hands, snapped by the Chevrolet Onix. The Onix ranked #1 for the first time ever in August and has remained there ever since, accessing the YTD top spot in November. Thanks to sales down ‘just’ 17% to 125.931, the Onix is up 3 spots on 2014 to edge past the Palio, down 33% to 122.364. The Onix is the first Chevrolet to top the Brazilian sales charts in 30 years and only the second one ever with the Monza, #1 in 1985 and 1986. In fact, it is only the third time in the past 62 years that neither a Volkswagen nor a Fiat tops the charts. The VW Fusca (aka Beetle) ranked #1 for 27 years (19541980), then the Fiat 147 for 3 years (19811983), the VW Gol for 26 years (19871993 and 19952013), the Fiat Uno in 1994 and the Fiat Palio in 2014.

Hyundai HB20 Brazil May 2015. Picture courtesy HB20 – Never had a Korean nameplate ranked that high in Brazil (#3).

Further down, the Hyundai HB20 drops only 8% to break onto the annual podium for the first time at #3. It is the first time a Korean model ranks among the Brazilian Top 3. Below the Fiat Strada down 36% to #4, the new generation Ford Ka, up 106% to 90.187 sales for its first full year, is a breath of much needed fresh air for the American carmaker whose next best-seller is the Fiesta Hatch, down 63% to #19. Down a hair-rising 55% (-78% in December!), the previously unbeatable VW Gol is showing a decidedly bruised face in 6th place, the nameplate’s lowest annual ranking in Brazil in 35 years (since 1981). Worse: the Gol was the only Volkswagen in the December Top 12 – hopefully the German manufacturer will start aligning itself with the significantly more modern and sophisticated offers from the competition in 2016.

Fiat Toro Brazil 2015The Fiat Toro will shake up the Brazilian pickup segment in 2016.

Other notable movements in the models ranking include the Ford Ka sedan shooting up to #23 for its first full year, the Peugeot 2008 landing at #70 and the Mercedes GLA up 62 ranks to #78. The Lifan X60 (#88) is the #1 Chinese nameplate for the 2nd year running ahead of the Chery Celer (#108) and JAC T6 (#125). Two pickups launched late in the year hold some great potential for 2016: the Renault Oroch arrives at #87 but was inside the Top 40 in November and December with roughly half the sales of the Duster on which it is based. It could climb into the 2016 Top 30. Finally, the strikingly-designed Fiat Toro only had 65 demo sales in December but will be a worthy challenger in a segment dominated by the Chevrolet S10 (#25), Toyota Hilux (#26) and Ford Ranger (#39).

Previous month: Brazil November 2015: Chevrolet Onix closes in on first annual win

One year ago: Brazil Full Year 2014: Fiat Palio ends 19 years of VW Gol reign

Two years ago: Brazil Full Year 2013: Chevrolet Onix edges Hyundai HB20 out

Full Year 2015 Top 30 brands and Top 150 models vs. Full Year 2014 figures below.

Full December 2015 Top 20 brands and Top 100 models below.

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