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Brazil First Half 2018: Volkswagen, Renault pull up recovering market

The new Polo is responsible for Volkswagen’s change of fortune in Brazil so far in 2018.

* See the Top 20 best-selling brands and Top 160 models by clicking on the title *

It’s a very satisfying First Half of 2018 for the Brazilian new car market, shooting up 13.7% over the same period in 2017 to mark a second consecutive year of gains and comfortably get back above the 1 million mark at 1.127.217 units, the best H1 result since 2015 (1.269.817). Even though they still sport robust gains at +8% each, both Chevrolet (#1) and Fiat (#3) trail the market and lose share as a result to 16.9% and 13% respectively. Chevrolet still has the bragging rights for the #1 model in the country as the Onix is comfortably headed towards a 4th consecutive year in pole position, having occupied the monthly Brazilian throne for the past 35 consecutive months. The Prisma (+3%) drops one spot to #7 but the Tracker surges 179% and the all-new Equinox lands at #70.

As for Fiat, while the total reorganisation of its lineup is still in progress, it’s fair to say that sadly, it hasn’t resulted in any new blockbuster so far and the Italian manufacturer is heavily relying on its commercial vehicles such as the the ageing Strada (+35%) and the Toro (+6%) to stabilise its sales, while the Argo is only now knocking at the Top 10’s door one year after launch (albeit hitting a record #6 in June), the Mobi (-2%) has already plateaued, the Cronos (#34) is rather timid and the Siena (-35%), Uno (-76%), Weekend (-33%) and Palio (-98%) are all on the way out.

The Renault Kwid is one of the big success stories of the past 12 months in Brazil.

In contrast, Volkswagen brilliantly surges 33% to snap the #2 spot away from Fiat with 14.8% share, putting an end to years of hesitation as to decide what a viable replacement option for its weakening best-seller, the Gol (-10%), would be. The German carmaker has found it in the much more sophisticated Polo, landing directly at #4 with over 34.000 sales, accompanied by its sedan variant the Virtus at #24. Meanwhile the Fox (-10%), Voyage (-17%) and Up (-46%) are dying off but the Amarok (+69%) gets a second wind.

Nissan (+36%) thanks to the Kicks (+71%), Renault (+28%) thanks to the Kwid (#8) and Jeep (+23%) thanks to the Compass (+28%) and Renegade (+20%) also deliver significant market share gains in the Top 10, with the American brand crossing the symbolic 10,000 monthly sales milestone for the first time in May. Further down, Volvo (+72%), Chery (estimated at +62%), Kia (+55%), JAC (+33%), Land Rover (+30%) and BMW (+25%) display a “luxe or low-cost” trend in the Brazilian market. The Chery QQ (#80) remains the best-selling Chinese nameplate in Brazil ahead of a newcomer, the JAC T40 (#86), the Lifan X60 (#97), JAC T5 (#117) and Chery Tiggo (#118).

Previous post: Brazil June 2018: Volkswagen up 26%, Fiat Toro and Argo break records

One year ago: Brazil First Half 2017: Sales rebound, Jeep Compass leads new SUV charge

Full H1 2018 Top 20 brands and Top 160 models below.

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