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Brazil December 2011: Fiat Uno edges out VW Gol for the 2nd time! Full Year 2011: Gol leads for 24th year, Uno breaks record

VW Gol and Fiat Uno

In December the Brazilian car market is down a surprising 9% to 329,198 registrations, bringing the final 2011 total to 3,425,596 units, up just 3%. For the 2nd time only this year after February the Fiat Uno manages to snap the pole position away from the VW Gol, but with by 32 units at 24,263 sales vs. 24,231! Since January 2001 it is only the 5th month (out of 132!) that the VW Gol is not #1: the Fiat Palio also led the monthly rankings 3 times over the period.

2012 Fiat Palio

The reason behind the Gol’s weakness this month could be the ramping up of the new gen Fiat Palio, up to #4 at 13,099 units, the nameplate’s highest monthly volume since April 2010. Other December highlights include the Nissan March up to #24 with 3,232 sales, the Chevrolet Cobalt breaking into the Top 40 for the first time at #39 and 2,156 units and the Range Rover Evoque breaking into the Top 100 with 600 sales.

Nissan March

In 2011, in spite of very intense competition from the Fiat Uno, the VW Gol manages to keep its title of best-selling car in Brazil with 293,454 sales and 8.6% share, down just 329 units on 2010. The VW Gol has led the Brazilian models ranking since 1987 with one interruption due to the previous generation Fiat Uno in 1994. That’s 17 consecutive years in pole position and 24 years overall. To give an idea of how much of a performance this is, let’s compare it to the 26 years of domination of the legendary VW Beetle from 1955 to 1980…

The Fiat Uno gains 19% to reach 273,537 sales and 8% share, the nameplate’s highest volume ever in Brazil, beating the 250,464 units sold in 1995, allowing it a mammoth 19.3% market share at the time vs. 22.1% for the Gol. One scenario for 2012 could be that the Fiat Uno takes advantage of the battle between an ageing Gol and the new Palio to actually take the lead of the Brazilian market for the first time in 18 years…

Chevrolet Montana

6 of the next 8 models lose ground, showing the Brazilian market continues to fragment. The Chevrolet Celta stays #3 (-4%), the Chevrolet Corsa sedan is up to #4 (-11%), the VW Fox/CrossFox down to #5 (-15%), the Fiat Strada up to #6 (+2%) and leader of the Palio family for the very first time ahead of the Palio (-23%) and Siena (-25%).

Great 2011 performers include the Renault Sandero up 19% to #11, the VW Saveiro up 14% to #13, the Chevrolet Montana up 25% to #17, the Kia Soul up 107% to #44, the Citroen C3 Aircross up 293% to #47 and the VW Jetta up 547% to #52.


There are no less than 34 all-new models in the 2011 Top 200, showing the dynamism of the Brazilian market. If the Ford new Fiesta leads the way at #56 with 13,074 sales, this year’s main event was the aggressive launch of Chinese brand JAC. The JAC J3 is the 2nd best performing newcomer this year, leading all Chinese models at #58 with 12,805 sales. The Chery QQ is #72 at 9,923 units and the JAC J3 Turin is #81 with 8,354 sales.

Previous post: Brazil mid-December 2011: New Fiat Palio gears up

Previous month: Brazil November 2011: VW Gol close to 17th consecutive #1 year

Previous year: Brazil Full Year 2010: VW Gol resists Fiat Uno assault, #1 for 23rd year

Full Year 2011 Top 20 brands and Top 200 models vs. Full Year 2010 figures below.

Full December 2011 Top 150 models below.

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