This week’s grand opening of Cuenca’s first Changan auto dealership, the fourth Chinese car and truck dealer to set up shop in the city since 2014, adds support to the growing belief that the Chinese will soon dominate car and light truck sales in Latin America.
“Within a decade, the Chinese will own the Latin American market,” a Bloomberg business analyst predicted in March. “In many countries, they are close to having the largest market share already,” she continued.
Last week, Chile became the first Latin American country to report that Chinese vehicle sales topped those of manufacturers from all other countries. What’s most impressive about the Chinese first-place position from January to June 2018, according to the Santiago newspaper El Mercurio, is that Chinese auto makers did not sell a single car in Chile 10 years ago.
According to the National Automotive Association of Chile (ANAC), Chinese sales amounted to 15.6 percent of all vehicle transactions in the first half of the year. By year’s end, the association says, the percentage will climb to 18. Looking out further, an ANAC economist predicts more than a 35 percent market share by 2023. “And it will continue to grow from there with no end in sight,” he says.
According to ANAC and others, the strong upside for Chinese vehicles is easy to explain. “The good price-feature ratio, the confidence established among clients and the product range in high-demand market segments are the main factors for the explosive growth,” an ANAC spokesman said.
He added that the Chinese yuan-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate is also helping to boost imports. “You can be sure that the Chinese will make sure the exchange rate continues to favor their businesses.”
In addition to Chile, Bloomberg predicts that Chinese car and truck sales will soon rank number one in markets in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Argentina.
The top Chinese auto brands are Great Wall, Jac, Geely, Changan and Haval.