After coming second to Fiat in the January and February cars sales league, Volkswagen Brazil beat its main rival by 41,603 units to 35,153 in March, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

But Fiat was the first quarter leader with 98,904 cars sold, to Volkswagen' 97,685.

Add in light commercials and trucks, however, and Volkswagen was overall Q1 vehicle market leader, selling 115,955 vehicles to Fiat' 109,302.

Volkswagen has been the top-selling car brand in Brazil for 42 years and the total vehicle sales leader for 41 years.

The company's Brazilian-made Gol has been the top-selling model in Brazil since 1982, selling 72,053 units in Q1, 2001.

But Fiat is after the top car slot and has already reached second and third places with its locally-made Palio and (Uno-based) Mille models.

The Palio range sold 48,870 units and the Mille 25,683 in the first quarter.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Mercosur's Automotive Industry - Challenges and prospects to 2005

Volkswagen Strategic Review

Global Car Forecasts to 2005