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LATIN AMERICAN VEHICLE INDUSTRY AND GM SALES AT RECORD RATE

 MIAMI, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Vehicle industry sales in Latin America continue to run at an all-time record rate for the first nine months of 1993, and GM sales there are outpacing the industry growth, according to R.C. Nerod, GM's vice president for Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
 Including Mexico, vehicle industry sales during January through September reached a record 2,074,700 units, up 17 percent vs. the same nine-month period of 1992. Excluding Mexico, which is now part of GM's North American Operations (NAO), the remaining vehicle markets, at 1.6 million units, also represent an all-time record.
 "The industry record of 2.4 million units for the Latin America area has stood since the 1980 boom year, but at the current rate, that level will finally be surpassed in 1993," Nerod said.
 If sustained, 1993 will be the sixth consecutive year of industry sales growth. Actual growth of 61 percent during the past five years make Latin America the fastest-growing market for vehicles since 1987 with the trend continuing through the first three quarters of 1993.
 Nerod said Brazil and, to a lesser extent, Argentina and Colombia, are chiefly responsible for the significant sales surge in 1993. The Brazilian vehicle market is running at 49 percent better than 1992 sales, and GM sales in Brazil are up 57 percent due to strong consumer demand for GM passenger cars and light-duty pickup trucks.
 Meanwhile in Colombia, both industry sales, as well as sales by market leader, GM Colmotores, continue at a record pace, with an 85-percent sales growth by GM in all segments of the market, from the top-selling Chevrolet Chevette taxi and Chevrolet Sprint, up through the Chevrolet Super Brigadier, class eight, heavy-duty trucks.
 Commenting on GM in the region, Nerod noted that, "GM vehicles sales established an all-time high in 1992, and through September of 1993, GM sales are up 34 percent vs. last year in South America. GM, which has been No. 1 in commercial and truck sales for seven consecutive years, is the overall market leader in Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia."
 GM's market share in South America at 19.4 percent remains the area outside the United States and Canada where GM has the highest market penetration.
 "That trend in our sales is quite encouraging since the region has been opening up to vehicle imports and has become much more competitive, including a growing wave of new built-up vehicles from non-traditional competition, such as from Korea and the former East-Bloc," Nerod said.
 Nerod concluded by saying, "The recent trend of lowering trade barriers and intra-regional trade agreements should provide the stimulus for increased vehicle growth opportunities for the next few years. Although the competitive environment is expected to intensify, the consumer will be the primary beneficiary with new and more technologically advanced vehicles becoming available. General Motors (NYSE: GM) is making significant investments in key markets, such as the recent joint venture with Compania Interamericana de Automoviles S.A., (CIADEA) in Argentina, to position itself to maintain its strong position in the Latin American industry."
 -0- 10/26/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A graphic/chart of GM vehicle sales in Latin America is available./
 /CONTACT: John F. Mueller of General Motors Corporation, 313-556-3810/
 (GM)


CO: General Motors Corporation ST: Michigan, Florida IN: AUT SU:

SB-CJ -- DE029 -- 6878 10/26/93 14:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1993
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