Brazil is General Motors’ shining star in Latin America and worldwide, with a robust outlook after a record second quarter.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Maureen Kempston Darkes, the president of General Motors Latin America, Africa and Middle East division, is optimistic about the auto giant’s outlook in South America this year. “We are on a positive trend,” she says. “Consumer credit is starting to improve, as the global economies improve. We think as the global economy improves, that will bode very well.”
Although she expects a gradual pickup in sales in the second half of the year, first half results will likely pull down overall results this year for a combined decline, she predicts.
As sales in the U.S. auto market dropped dramatically during the first half of the year, South America again delivered some of the best results worldwide for General Motors. During the second quarter, LAAM auto sales fell by 20.8 percent to 273,991 units in the second quarter. That compares with a 31.9 percent drop in North America.
However, behind those results there big differences between countries. Brazil, GM’s third-largest market worldwide, actually managed to set a new record in second-quarter sales. “Our sales were down, pretty much down in line with the market in most cases,” Kempston Darkes says. “The truly bright spot was Brazil [which had] a record second quarter.”
Guido Vildozo, the senior market analyst in charge of covering the automotive industry in Latin America for IHS Global Insight, agrees. “There’s no question about the fact that the Brazilian operation is definitely the shining star in GM,” he says.
It’s one of only three major markets that ...
Keywords: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela