Bolivia 2020. Market down 17.9%, while Suzuki keeps the market throne

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Bolivia car market
The 2017 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Bolivian vehicles market falls due to the global pandemic affecting sales. Indeed, Full Year 2020 sales have been 24.537, down 17.9% compared to 2019. Suzuki keeps holding the market throne with a large margin.

Economic Environment

GDP shrank at a record annual pace of 21.7% in Q2 (Q1: +0.6% YoY) amid plunging domestic demand and collapsing exports due to the Covid-19 fallout. Turning to Q3, available data paints a still-downbeat picture. Economic activity contracted more sharply in August, with the construction, transport, and mining sectors hit the hardest.

Moreover, a higher unemployment rate in Q3, coupled with lingering Covid-19 restrictions, bodes ill for private consumption. In politics, Luis Arce, the candidate for former President Morales’ MAS party, won 55% of the votes in the presidential election re-run held on 18 October, securing a first-round victory.

However, MAS did not reach a two-thirds majority in the Legislative Assembly, which could hinder the full implementation of Arce’s agenda of boosting public investment. In the near term, dealing with the impact of the pandemic will likely be his first priority.

Market Trend

The Bolivian vehicle market has been affected in 2020 by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted sales significantly. 

The automotive industry in 2018 has been stable, with sales up a mere 4% from the previous year, when the introduction of new limits for imported vehicles emission has hit the market, breaking the outstanding series of 12 consecutive record years, with a drop near 20% from the 2016 record.

After having stabilized, the market in 2018 was flat at 34.000 units, despite the strong battle for market share among all players – over 180 – distributed in the country.

After being stable in 2018, the Bolivian vehicle market took a hit in 2019. In fact, 20.7% fewer units were sold, with only 29.884 sales.

Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 24.537, reporting a 17.9% decrease compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the leader Suzuki (-19.1%) lost 0.3% market share, followed by Renault (-37.7%), which lost 2.8% share. Nissan (-34.1%) was in the third position and lost 0.9% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Suzuki Swift with 5.337 sales (-19.1%), holding 21.8% market share.