The Colombian automotive market accounted for 21,057 vehicles in July, up 25% year on year and the first time in 31 months sales broke through the 21K mark.

“If the market continues this growing tendency, we will see 2010 as the second best year in history because it is feasible to reach over 220K units; in fact, the tally could be around 222K”, Juan García, executive director of the automotive committee, said.

García can sustain his projection: next November is the Bogotá auto show, considered a '13th sales month' when it takes place every two years. The Colombian central bank has announced 4.5% Q1 GDP growth and its 2010 projection is around +2.5%. Meanwhile, new president Santos wants the Colombian economy to grow 6% to 8% in the next 10 years.

In addition, the new Colombian government has re-established diplomatic relationships with Venezuela, which will boost trade between the two countries after a spat last year that saw Colombian-assembled cars banned.

Finally, the Colombian peso is up 10% to 1,800 per US dollar, making car prices very competitive.

In brand growth terms, Fiat leads the top 10 (230%) followed by Dodge (157%), Ssangyong (136%), Kia (108%), Audi (103%), Toyota (102%), Nissan (90%), Subaru (57%), BMW (52%) and Jeep (51%).

With 2010 stocks low, brands are pushing 2011 models. Last month Colombia saw the launch of the new Subaru Outback, Dodge Ram pickup truck, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai facelift, Citroën C3 and Daihatsu's new Sirion.

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