As the U.S. economy slows down, Latin America is providing an increasingly vital sales boost for U.S. and European multinationals.
BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Latin America is becoming increasingly important for U.S. and European multinationals as they look for markets to offset weak or declining sales in the United States and Europe.
A Latin Business Chronicle analysis of the 2007 financial results of 25 major U.S. and European companies shows that Latin America grew faster than the companies' overall expansion. In the case of 14 companies, Latin America accounted for the strongest growth worldwide, while it posted the second-highest growth among seven companies analyzed. The 25 companies range from U.S. giants like Coca-Cola and General Motors to European giants like InBev and Volkswagen.
"We saw record performance in our international businesses led by Latin America and Asia," Jeff Fetig, the Chairman and CEO of U.S.-based Whirlpool, said in the 2007 annual report.
Whirlpool, the world's largest appliance maker, was one of the companies that posted Latin America growth higher than any other region. Last year, Latin America sales reached $3.4 billion, an increase of 27.7 percent from 2006. That compares with 21.9 percent growth in Asia, 12.1 percent in Europe, 0.8 percent in North America and 7.3 percent worldwide.
Apart from Whirlpool, the other U.S. companies that registered higher Latin America sales growth than other regions include American Airlines, Avon...
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