Fiat Palio, the most produced car in Argentina

The new Palio is produced also in Argentina since April 2012

The new Palio is produced also in Argentina since April 2012

Good news come from South America. In November 2012 the new Fiat Palio was Argentina’s most manufactured car. All car makers produced 78.000 units, 3.2% more than previous November, but 1.8% down compared to October 2012. YTD production is down 9.4% to 703.472 units, making of Argentina the third largest producer in Latin America and above other important markets such as Italy. In that month the new generation Palio was the most produced car over there with almost 6.000 units. Fiat produced more Palios than traditional leaders like the Ford Focus (5.115) and Chevrolet Agile (5.090). Most of this production is headed to Brazil, where the demand of this car is growing up so fast that is getting close to Fiat’s best-seller Uno (November YTD indicates that Palio demand is up  81%). In Argentina the new Palio is also very popular but as a big part of local production is sold out in Brazil, Fiat can’t supply the demand and people must wait for months to get their car. That’s why the demand for Argentinian market is so weak (up only 4.1%). The new Palio is being produced in Cordoba, Argentina, since April 2012. At the beginning they produced around 200 units per day but they want to increase it up to 500 units. The car is produced with 3 different engines: 1.4 Evo, 1.0 Flex and 1.4 Flex for Brazilian market. Initial target was to produce 60.000 units of both, Siena and Palio, by the end of the year. YTD November figures show that Fiat has produced 66.682 cars. They made it but 2012 numbers are far away from last year results. In 2011 Fiat produced 110.000 units, with the Siena counting for 78%. Among all car makers in Argentina, Fiat is the one with the deepest fall in production, down 39%. VW is down 12%, GM -6%, and Ford -13%.

Argentinian industry is down 9% due to less local demand and economic problems regarding exchange rate and inflation. Fiat's share is 9.5% compared to 9.8% of demand market share. Source: ADEFA

Argentinian industry is down 9% due to less local demand and economic problems regarding exchange rate and inflation. Fiat’s share is 9.5% compared to 9.8% of demand market share. Source: ADEFA

More news

Fiat Brazil has announced that double airbag, ABS and EBD are now standard for the entry version of the Uno. This is a response to two facts: from January 2014 all cars produced in Brazil must count on this features. And secondly, because the Uno is losing market share and its sales continue to drop. Fiat wants to increase the competitiveness of the model just as it did with other versions of it (the Way and Economy) and Fiat Strada Working in October. The price of the car rises R $1.000 (US$480): Novo Uno Vivace 1.0 3P (US$12.150) and Novo Uno Vivace 5P (US$12.960). The demand of this model has fallen 5% so far this year.

Two airbags, ABD and EBD are now standard in entry version of the Uno

Two airbags, ABD and EBD are now standard in entry version of the Uno

Yesterday Maserati launched the new Quattroporte in Nice, France. The car was presented officially to specialized press in an event hosted by Maserati’s CEO, Harald Wester. According to him, Maserati expects to sell 13.000 units of this new flagship next year (prices start around 145.000 euro). USA will count for a big part as they want to make use of 2.300 Chrysler dealerships all over the country. The Quattroporte is the first step of a 2015 goal of selling 50.000 Maseratis worldwide annually. Then will come the SUV Levante (aka Kubang) and a smaller sedan, the Ghibli. Finally, by the year 2015 the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio will make their debut (they are expected to be lighter and may use Alfa Romeo 4C base). Maserati sold 6.159 cars last year, and the fact they want to sell 8 times more in just 3 years makes some analysts not to believe it. IHS, a specialized provider of diverse global market and economic information, said that Maserati could sell 28.100 cars by that year. Others, like Euromonitor, think that the brand has the right reputation and clients coming from USA and China, but the target is “incredibly ambitious”.

Maserati wants to sell 13.000 units of its new flagship next year. Photo by: Autopareri.com

Maserati wants to sell 13.000 units of its new flagship next year. Photo by: Autopareri.com

Fiat has announced it will lay off around 1.500 workers, a third of its workforce, at its factory in Tychy, Poland. It is a response to lower demand of the cars produced over there. Fiat is the largest car producer in Poland and in 2009 they manufactured 600.000 units and this year it is expected to be under 350.000 cars. Volume for next year is expected to be around 300.000 units. Currently Fiat Poland produces the 500 for European and some Asian markets, its twin from Ford, the Ka, the second generation Panda and the new Ypsilon. However by the end of this month the Panda output will be halted forever as the new model completes one year in the market. The reduction of production levels is a fact expected by many as Fiat decided to move the production of the best-seller Panda to Italy. By that time Fiat said nothing would had happened to Poland output as the new Ypsilon was going to be produced in return. Nevertheless the Ypsilon is a popular car but only in Italy and now faces tough times with sales drop of 17% so far this year. It also means that Fiat may not be considering Poland for making its next C-Segment (aka Fiat Viaggio hatchback) for European market. Turkey or Serbia are in mind?

Source: ADEFA, Autoesporte, Automotive News Europe

Brazil November/12: concern about Fiat Uno

The Uno Cabrio Concept should be the first Marketing exercise of what Fiat could do with the popular model in order to explore other subsegments

The Uno Cabrio Concept should be the first Marketing exercise of what Fiat could do with the popular model in order to explore other subsegments

Last month Fiat sold 71.333 cars in Brazil. It means the brand keeps its pole position with sales up 7.6% compared to Nov/11. It is also good from the point of view of market share that rises up to 24.02%, 3.23 points ahead of VW. All of that was possible thanks to higher passenger sales registrations (+10.3%) and due to the fall of total market (-9.1%). However there are some things that did not go that good such as Fiat Uno and LCV’s registrations. From Fiat’s total, 82% corresponded to passenger cars while LCV lost market share (last year they counted for 20% vs. 18% last month). Nonetheless Fiat is the leader in both segments: 25.16% of share in passenger  segment (2.56 points ahead of VW), and 19.89% in LCV segment (5.62 points ahead of VW). Fiat continues to grow in a relatively stable market despite the arrival of more competitors with really interesting products. It is good but does not tell anything about coming months, which will be very difficult not in terms of economic forecasts but in terms of competition. For the first time last month Hyundai was part of top 10 best-selling passenger cars brands surpassing Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Citroen. That’s  certainly an amazing result that shows how far Koreans can go and what their plans for Brazil are. The reason for that growth is the introduction of the B-Segment HB20, an interesting subcompact hatchback that will be a headache for Fiat Palio’s sales in 2013. The problem is that no all-new Fiat  is planned to arrive in the next months, so Fiat could begin to feel the presence of the Korean.

Fiat was again the leader in both segments, Passenger and LCV. Most of car sales correspond to engines between 1.0 and 2.0 liters. Fiat's share is much better than previous year's. Very bad results for Renault. Hyundai impresses. Source: Fenabrave

Fiat was again the leader in both segments, Passenger and LCV. Most of car sales correspond to engines between 1.0 and 2.0 liters. Fiat’s share is much better than previous year’s. Very bad results for Renault. Hyundai impresses. Source: Fenabrave

Fiat did better than VW. Last year 6.161 units separated them. Last month Fiat was ahead of VW with 9.589 cars. Fiat increased its registration 7%, while VW is up 3%, and GM, third largest Brazilian car maker, is down 8%. The arrival of Hyundai has had a direct impact on Ford and Renault, down 11% and 19%, while the Korean is up a massive 33%. For Passenger cars only, Fiat is up 10%, VW +4%, GM -8%, Ford -19%, Renault -31% and Hyundai +62%! The new HB20 is catching Renault Sandero and Ford Fiesta’s sales while Gol and Palio one’s don’t suffer yet. But the arrival and success of the locally made Hyundai is not the unique event. Fiat’s top seller, the Uno, continues to slow down while the Palio is really close in terms of units sold. In November the small Fiat is down 19% and the Palio is up 78%. If a close analysis is made, Uno’s decrease is not due to spectacular increases of its rivals. It means that maybe there is cannibalism between the Uno and Palio. They belong to different segments but cheapest Palios may be catching sales from expensive Unos. However the Uno continues to be Brazil’s second best-selling car and a very important product for Fiat, but something must be done in order to stop the fall (a restyling should arrive next year). Other products did quite well: the Siena (+63%) and the Punto (+18%), but not the Strada, down 0.6%. At the end there is more positive than negative news coming from Fiat Brazil, though it does not mean that more must be done and new products should arrive. One of them should be a small SUV, in process at Centro Stile in Turin, to gain market share in this segment which will have a big growth in the coming years.

This figure shows that Fiat's growth is mainly explained by the good performance of Palio and Siena. Too bad for Bravo/Linea and 500. Source: Fenabrave

November 2012 Brazil. This figure shows that Fiat’s growth is mainly explained by the good performance of Palio and Siena. Too bad for Bravo/Linea and 500. Source: Fenabrave

The new Palio and Siena are the protagonist of Fiat's growth. Both of them do much better than its closest competitors. The new Hyundai and Chevrolet Onix may impact Palio's sales in 2013. Source: Fenabrave

The new Palio and Siena are the protagonist of Fiat’s growth. Both of them do much better than its closest competitors. The new Hyundai and Chevrolet Onix may impact Palio’s sales in 2013. Source: Fenabrave

Click here for Brazil October 2012 Results

October/12: Fiat Brazil at its highest market share

Brazilian car market continues to be the place of good news for Fiat. Last month the brand got its best market share so far this year with 26.17%. It is also the highest share since April 2009. This great result was possible thanks to a big growth in Fiat’s registrations much more than industrywide gain. Fiat was up a massive 45% (the second best performance of this year) while Brazilian car market was up 23%. Compared to October 2011 Fiat sold 20.313 more passenger cars, most of them because of more registrations of the couple Palio-Siena. After the historical record in August for both, Brazilian market and Fiat itself, partly inflated by the fact that IPI reductions could be cut, a big fall was evident in September. Since then, with two extensions of IPI and political measures looking to facilitate credit to buyers, the market is back in October with almost 327.000 units. IPI, for Imposto sobre Produtos Industrializados, is a Brazilian basic tax applied to industrial products produced in or outside Brazil. In the case of Brazilian products, the IPI is calculated based on the sales price, while in the case of imports, it is on sales price plus shipping costs and import duty. Dilma Roussef government places auto industry as one of the most important for future economic development. It is why they decided to reduce this tax as an incentive for the industry and when it all seemed the reduction was going to be cut at the end of August, the government decided to keep the reduction until December 31st. It allows Brazilians to buy cheaper cars, most of them locally produced as there is one ‘Super IPI’ with a higher tax that applies to imported cars. For example, a locally produced Gol with 1.0 liter will pay 0% of IPI until the end of this year, while an imported Picanto with the same engine has to pay 30% of IPI.

Sales figures for passenger cars. In October Fiat sales grew up two times more than industrywide. Thanks to the reduction of IPI tax, which is applied to final price of the car, most of Fiat models increased their registrations. Source: carsitaly.net, Auto Esporte

Fiat is making use of this tax reduction. The Palio had its best month in terms of share and the second best result in terms of units delivered. Compared to October/11 the ‘B-Segment’ car is up 113% which is an awesome result for mass product such as the Palio. More than 10.000 more Palios were sold last month, accounting for 49% of total rise. The introduction of the sunroof feature may had an impact on this result. The same happened to the ‘B-Sedan’ Siena, up 135%! during that month the Siena got the first place among small sedans. The rise of Palio and Siena counted for 17.195 more cars, 85% of the total. They were both the main stars of Fiat performance in October as the small Uno is up just 3%. The result of Palio and Uno should warn Fiat people as there may be a sort cannibalism between them, specially with the basic versions of the Palio. Down in the list the Strada continues to be Fiat’s most stable model as it keeps being the leader of the ‘C-Pickup’ segment and it is pretty old now. Other good performances: the Punto, boosted by the strong facelift and the small 500 which sold again more than 1 thousand units. Compared to competition, the Palio continues to be behind the Gol but it seems to resist, at least for now, the arrival of all-new Hyundai HB20 and Chevrolet Onix, both models to difficult Palio and Gol’s domination. In other segments, the Idea loses share against the new Spin from Chevrolet, which though it is not considered a small MPV (it is closer to a ‘C-MPV’) its features and prices affects directly the Fiat model. The 500 should be preparing for the arrival of Brazilian-made VW Up!. Anyway, Fiat continues to be Brazil’s leader but coming months will complicate its leadership as more competition will arrive and no new Fiats are expected to arrive shortly. All of that takes place in a market strongly healthy and not dependent on government incentives, well the IPI tax is just that, and when the government reduces it, the market reacts positively as it can buy cheaper cars. The opposite situation of toxic government helps that took place in Europe for years, which allowed many people to buy a car without taking into account the fact that they did not even need one.

Brazil, October 2012. The Uno keeps being Brazil’s best-selling city car but it seems a facelift is needed. The new Palio and Siena are doing great. Just the most expensive cars (500, Bravo and Linea) are doing bad. Source: bestsellincarsblog.net

 

Click here to see Brazil November 2012 Results

Click here to see Brazil September 2012 Results