The Eurozone and Greek crises and the newly implemented FTA between the US and Colombia slowed the market last month to 24,941 units, up just 2.4% year on year.

Economy minister Juan Carlos Echeverry has spoken about an uncertain year for Colombian growth, due to the cloudy future in Europe. The eurozone is an important commerce partner for this Andean country, especially for agro (bananas) and energy (coal) products.

Despite Echeverry’s gloomy outlook, Colombian Central Bank director José Darío Uribe said last week the country’s economy will grow 5.7%, keeping to the year’s estimate, and that’s why the central bank has kept the interbank rate to 5.25%, a measure to avoid overheating due to the home market’s consumption excess.

The other source of speculation that has slowed the market is the start of the FTA between the US and Colombia. Consumers believe car prices are going to fall 35% (the tariff rate) but actually only certain products are immediately covered under the agreement.

Sales rose 3.7% to 106,743 units in the first quarter. 

GM said stamping presses have arrived at its Bogotá factory where it will produce the 11 body parts of the Chevrolet Sonic the subcompact to be sold both locally and exported. 

Suzuki, traditionally represented by GM in Colombia, and with some of its products assembled at the Bogotá plant, has revamped their local operations which are now managed by the Chilean group Derco. Last week it launched a new range which includes the Grand Vitara with three or five doors, the Jimny, the Swift, the Alto, the Celerio and the APV minivan.

Nissan also launched the Juke at their new ‘premium’ showroom located in Bogotá; Mercedes-Benz, the new ML 250 CDi Biturbo BlueEfficiency; Renault, the Mégane II, Citroën, the DS4 and BMW the 320i (F30); Audi, the A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI quattro S-Tronic; and Mazda, the 3 facelift.