Exports of automobiles, light commercial vehicles, trucks and bus chassis from Brazil hit an all-time high in 2017 at over 762,000 units shipped, the National Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association (Anfavea) reported this Friday (0). Shipped volume was up 46.5% from 2016 and exceeded the previous record of 725,000 units, from 2005.
Revenue soared by 48.6% to USD 15.851 billion. This was not an all-time high, since 2011 and 2013 saw numbers exceeding USD 16 billion.
The result was welcomed by Anfavea chairman Antonio Megale. “This growth in exports has come to stay. Automakers have their sights on foreign markets, trade agreements with other countries are moving forward, and as a result we are climbing up the ranking of top-selling products in terms of overall exports from Brazil,” he said at a press conference.
In 2018, Anfavea believes foreign sales will increase further – by 5% in volume to an expected 800,000 units shipped, and by 5.4% in revenue to USd 16.7 billion. Although they are not the number one priority for carmakers – which are focusing on increasing sales to Latin America –, Arab countries are a constant object of attention.
“The Middle East has strong potential. We have exported a lot to that part of the world in the past, but there’s progress to be made in Latin America. There are some very interesting, fast-growing markets such as Colombia and Chile. Of course, we will keep doing business with other countries in the meantime,” Megale said.
He also said the Mercosur-Egypt free-trade agreement does include the auto industry, but no deals have been made since the treaty went into effect last year. However, he said, companies are already in the process of mapping out opportunities in the Egyptian market.
Last year, Brazil’s auto industry grossed USD 372.9 million from exports to Arab countries, according to data from the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, up 0.3% from 2016. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE were the region’s top three destinations for Brazilian vehicles in 2017.
Megale sees vehicle imports to Brazil increasing this year. Imported vehicle sales on the domestic market are seen going from a current 11% to 15%. The reasons for this include the fact that vehicle import rates have dropped, and the entry into force of bilateral trade agreements like the Brazil-Colombia agreement.
Last year, approximately 244,100 units were imported to Brazil, down 10.7$ from 2016. Sales of both imported and Locally-made vehicle sales came out to 2.239 million, up 9.2%.
Output was up 25.2% to 2.7 million units in 2017. Megale said domestic market and import results both helped fuel manufacturing.
Anfavea expects domestic sales to be up 11.7% to 2.5 million vehicles, and output to be up 13.2% to 3.055 million units made.