Thousands of Ecuadorian car buyers had their first look Saturday at the latest models of European cars. They also saw for the first time the impact of the recently signed trade agreement with the European Union on car prices.
Prices were 11% to 15% lower on 2017 models because of the trade deal signed in December, according to before-and-after comparisons posted on the cars.
“We’re beginning to see the recovery of auto sales in Ecuador,” said Genaro Baldeón, president of the Automotive Association of of Ecuador, adding, “It’s about time.” Auto sellers, he said, have experienced three years of declining sales but predicts 2017 will see strong growth for the first time in seven years.
Prices for new models ranged from $89,990, for a luxury BMW 420d coupe, down from $104,000 before the EU trade deal, to less than $15,000 for several new energy efficient compacts manufactured by Peugeot and Renault.
“Historically, European cars have had small sales in Ecuador because of high prices and high tariffs but that will change,” Baldeón said. “Many of their cars are luxury models that were out of reach for most Ecuadorians but lower tariffs will mean more people will be able to afford them.”
Baldeón also predicted a “ripple affect” on prices of Asian and North American cars. “Lower prices on high-quality European cars will mean price reductions on cars made in Japan, Korea and other countries.”