Automotive industry in Latin America - Statistics & Facts

The automotive industry is one of the most important industries in the world. It constitutes a large parcel of the global economic activity due to its connections to other sectors, and its capacity to foster the economy and generate jobs. In Latin America, Mexico and Brazil have the most developed automotive industries - Mexico produced more than four million motor vehicles in 2018, while for Brazil this figure added up to nearly 2.9 million. In fact that year, these two Latin American countries ranked amongst the largest passenger cars producers worldwide.

However, compared to the production of the developed countries, the Latin American market still constitutes a marginal part of the automotive industry. In fact, Mexico is the only country in the region with a positive trade balance in the automotive industry. As such, the rest of the region stands out as a consuming rather than a producing market, with automobile imports exceeding exports.

When it comes to sales of cars and light commercial vehicles, the region has shown signs of growth in the past two years, after three consecutive years of decreases in sales. This behavior has at least some relation to the economic recovery in Brazil - the largest market for car sales in the region – after experiencing a severe crisis in the mid 2010’s. As a matter of fact, South America was forecasted to have in 2020 the most expressive car sales growth in the world.

Chevrolet – a division of U.S. based General Motors – was the best selling car brand in Latin America in 2018, leading the vehicle market in Brazil and Colombia. Volkswagen and Toyota ranked second and third, respectively. Following this consumer trend, the most sold car model in the region in 2019 was the Chevrolet Onix, followed by the Ford KA and the Toyota Hilux.

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Automotive industry in Latin America

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