Heavy Vehicle Market in Latin America - Statistics & Facts
In the last few years, some Latin American countries have been committing to various truck eco-driving initiatives to make national road freight industries greener. In Brazil—where just under 128,700 trucks were sold and 165,000 trucks were produced in 2021—programs like the Brazilian Green Logistics Program and Despoluir work toward a more sustainable heavy vehicle industry. The Brazilian transport sector emitted around 185 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020, making it the fifth contributor to global transport emissions. Medium and heavy trucks accounted for approximately 1.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide worldwide in 2020, making them the second largest polluters behind passenger cars.
As of 2021, the global commercial vehicle market represented over 23 million units in sales. The Asia-Oceania region was the leader in the production of heavy trucks worldwide that same year, followed by the North American Free Trade Association (changed in July 2020 to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) with an output of some 463,600 units. Mexico amounted to over a third of this volume. The country was the primary producer of motor vehicles in Latin America and the regional market leader in heavy truck output. With around 18,900 units, Brazil lead in the bus and coach output segment.
Prevalence of U.S. and European Brands
The Germany-based Mercedes-Benz was among the best-selling brands in the Latin American heavy vehicle market. In 2021, the brand ranked as the most popular heavy truck brand in Argentina and Chile, where it represented over 15 percent of the market. While Mercedes-Benz was less prevalent in the Colombian, Brazilian, and Mexican markets, it still came in second in Brazil, behind fellow German brand MAN. Its Buses segment was also the sixth best-selling commercial vehicle brand in Mexico. European brands tended to be more popular in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, while North American Chevrolet and Freightliner dominated the Colombian and Mexican markets.
Chilean bus sales were also dominated by Mercedes-Benz, at over 44 percent of the market. Scania came second, holding just over 15 percent of the shares.
Market Recovery Amid The Global Crisis
Regional heavy vehicle sales slumped during 2020 due to the economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic but picked up in 2021. Argentinian new heavy commercial vehicle registrations had dipped since 2017, reaching some 10,500 units in 2020, before rebounding to over 14,800 in 2021. This sales volume was over 26 percent above the country’s 2019 market size. Other Latin American countries reported similar market volume growth, overtaking pre-pandemic sales. This was notably the case for Brazil and Chile. Chilean commercial vehicle sales reached 16,900 in 2021—over 31 percent above 2019 sales. While Colombia’s heavy cargo vehicle market was not as hard-hit by the pandemic, its 2021 heavy vehicle sales broke records as the highest sales volume in the country since 2015.
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