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Brazil May 2020: Worsening health crisis kneecaps market down -75.8%

Chevrolet Tracker sales are lifted up 51.7% by the new generation.

Brazil is in the process of displacing the USA to become the new global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, going from 108.620 total cases a month ago to 555.383 today and 7.367 deaths when we published the April sales update to 31.199 today. Brazil had more daily deaths than the US during five of the past ten days. Yet some parts of the country are already reopening, illustrating President Bolsonaro’s strong anti-quarantine stance even though testing remains limited. One LMC Automotive analyst recently argued the real number of COVID-19 cases in Brazil may in fact already be above that of the US.

In a worsening health crisis, new car sales have remained almost frozen  in Brazil at -75.8% year-on-year in May to just 56.639 units after collapsing -76.8% in April at 51.362, monthly volumes unseen in 27 years. The large majority of dealers are closed, sales mostly occur online and some cities such as Sao Paulo which represents roughly 30% of the national volumes had virtually no registrations in May. The year-to-date tally is now down -38.1% to 640.525 units. Last month we predicted a 2020 volume down -25% to 1.99m units but we are now revising this forecast to a Full Year 2020 volume down -34% to 1.76 million units which would be the weakest annual result in 15 years: since 2005 (1.620.657).

Chevrolet (-75.8%) and Fiat (-72.1%) remain the two most popular brands in the country, with Volkswagen (-77.3%) lurking just two units below the Italian carmaker. Toyota (-75.5%) stays at #4 above Hyundai (-76.5%) and Renault (-78.5%) both overtaking Ford (-76.6%). Jeep (-76.3%), Honda (-79.7%) and Nissan (-78.4%) all roughly match the market and close the Top 10, while below Ram (+117.5%) takes off and BMW (-51.3%), Mitsubishi (-52%), Land Rover (-55.9%), Audi (-66.3%) and Volvo (-68.6%) all manage to contain their losses somewhat.

Model-wise, the Chevrolet Onix (-85.2%) loses markedly more ground than the market but remains the best-seller for the 58th consecutive month (no interruption since August 2015) and is with the Hyundai HB20 (-78.1%) the only nameplate selling upwards to 2.000 units this month. The Fiat Strada (-72.2%) shoots up 5 spots on April to #3, distancing the Renault Kwid (-79%), Fiat Argo (-68.4%) and Ford Ka (-81.9%). The Chevrolet Onix Plus remains by far the most popular recent launch but drops 4 ranks on last month to #7. Just outside the Top 10, the Chevrolet Tracker (+51.7%) scores the only year-on-year gain in the Top 55, and a double-digit one at that. The BMW 320i (+768%), Porsche 911 (+264.7%) and Ram 2500 (+117.5%) stand out below.

Previous month: Brazil April 2020: Chevrolet improves to 19.5% share in market down -76.8%

One year ago: Brazil May 2019: Chevrolet (+27.4%), VW (+30.3%), Renault (+47.1%) lift market up 20.2%

Full May 2020 Top 30 brands and Top 150 models below.

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