After the 20.2% YTD decrease at the end of the third quarter, the Colombian automotive market showed signs of recovery with October sales volume a little over 16,000 units - the second best month in 2009.

Chevrolet remained market leader (a position held for 25 years now) with YTD sales of 54,362 vehicles followed by Renault (22,762), Hyundai (19,111), Kia (8,828), Mazda (8,177), Nissan (5,584), Toyota (4,735), Volkswagen (4,498), Ford (3,652) and Mitsubishi (1,699).

Fiat has grown 73.0% YTD; Mini 59.5%; Volvo 37.4%; and Jaguar, 18.2%. Other brands have seen sales fall.

Econometría statisticians have meanwhile hiked their car sales forecast from 175,000 units to 180,000 for 2009.

Recent new model launches included BMW's X1, the Renault Sandero Stepway, Skoda Octavia 1.6 and Mazda 6 with 2.5-litre engine and six-speed automatic gearbox.

Juan Vargas