Chile 2024. Vehicle Market Finally Recovers In April (+20.7%)

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Chilean Vehicles Market is struggling in 2024. Following the already very negative score reported in the previous year, the light vehicles market started 2024 on the wrong foot. A first recovery light was seen in April, when sales have been 47,171 (+20.7%) with Year-to-date figures at 189,335 (-14.5%).

 

Market Trend and Outlook

Chile’s nominal GDP is the fifth largest in Latin America and the third highest in per capita terms, after Puerto Rico and Uruguay. In recent decades, the country has become known for its sound economic management, open-market policies, private-sector-led economic model and favorable business environment.

Chile is by far the world’s largest copper producer, accounting for around a quarter of the global total. As such, copper is the country’s key export and an important contributor to government revenue. Moreover, Chile is the world’s second-largest producer of lithium, a key component of electric batteries. The current government under President Boric has published a national lithium strategy, which aims for the government to play a key role in developing the lithium industry in the coming years.

Following the already very negative score reported in the previous year, the light vehicles market started 2024 awfully. In April, despite this setback, sales surprisingly amounted to 47,171 units (+20.7%). 

Looking at cumulative data up to April brand-wise, Toyota maintains leadership with 16,168 (-5.9%), followed by Chevrolet at 12,960 (-12.1%) in front of Hyundai with 12,274 sales (-4.5%) and Suzuki -up 3 spots- with 12,180 sales (+8.2%).

Kia gains 1 spot ranking into 5th position with 12,071 sales (+0.9%), followed by Peugeot -down 2 spots- at 10,728 sales (-15.4%), Ford -up 5 spots- at 8,658 (+17.7%) and Great Wall -up 9 spots- with 8,398 new registrations (+54.4%)

Mitsubishi loses 4 spots ranking into 9th position with 7,392 sales (-41.1%), followed by MG -down 1 spot- closing the top 10 with 7,209 new registrations (-15.0%).

Looking at specific models the Mitsubishi L200 maintains leadership despite a 46.5% year-on-year loss in sales, followed by the Toyota Hilux up 4.3%.

 

Medium-Term Market Trend

In the last decade the Chilean vehicles market has had many ups and downs. From 2011 to 2015 the market fluctuated in the low 200k range. First rising to a maximum of 263,146 in 2013 to then fall down to a minimum of 211,810 in 2015. By the end of 2016 the vehicles market in Chile had already gained 9.0% compared to the previous year, with 2017 following suit growing 52.5% and 2018 reporting a peak of 372,646 sales. 2019 marked the end of this 3 year uptrend, with sales reaching 369,864 but the end of the year.

The arrival of the pandemic in 2020 caused the market to drop 29.9% back down to 259,299.

It is clear that the issues faced during the pandemic weren’t due to structural problems in the industry, in fact, in 2021 the market reported an amazing growth, gaining 60.3% up to an all time high of 415,612 sales. The positive momentum continued into 2022, that totaled 425,856 new registrations, a 2.5% growth from the prior year. Despite the new-all time high, the second half of the 2022 strongly underperformed, with the last 5 months of the year posting losses.

A combination of factors are behind the current industry struggle: the disruption in the global supply chain caused by a lack of raw materials, in particular for the production of microchips and Governments push towards Evs, an expensive alternative for low income consumers. At the moment affects from this last point are very mild, due to the low adoption of BEVs in South American countries (0.45% of total market share in South America). In fact during the 2023 the market fell 26.7% with 312,191 registrations. 

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for all Brands and Top 10 Manufacturers Group.

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