The annual survey conducted by Sindipeças (the national association of auto parts manufacturers) revealed that the Brazilian running fleet comprising cars and light/heavy commercials exceeded the 38m mark (38,025,799 exactly) last year, 8.1% above the 2011 figure.

Between 2002 and 2012 the local fleet nearly doubled – 80% – not counting motorcycles and scooters. In 2012, two-wheeled vehicles accounted for 12.419m units.

For the first time, there are more light vehicles powered by ethanol/petrol, flexible-fuel engines than just petrol: 47% versus 41%, respectively. Twenty million FFVs have been sold since introduction in March 2003, imports included. Diesel’s share is 9% while ethanol only is just 3%.

Yet the country’s motorisation ratio remains quite low with 5.2 inhabitants per vehicle when compared to the 1.5 average in mature markets. Argentina and Mexico are ahead of Brazil with 3.7 and 3.6, respectively.

Therefore, saturation here is still far away, while the slight “de-motorisation” observed in some stable European, North American and Japanese markets is even more distant. Except for the US, production in these countries basically replaces ageing cars, since population growth has halted or nearly so, showing even a decreasing trend in some cases.

Sindipeças has started projecting accurate fleet numbers more than a decade ago as a move to correctly quantify auto parts volume for the running fleet. Without this reference there would be the risk of parts excess (for an already scrapped fleet) or leaving older cars unsupported.

The national transport authority (Contran) tightly controls registered vehicles. But the requirements for notifying the end of the road for a car or lorry are so bureaucratic and expensive that most owners do not bother. The official fleet is at least 35% larger than the actual one as a result.

Anfavea (automakers association) also predicts similarly to Sindipeças. Although they do not clearly reveal criteria, it is known that both bodies work on scrapping rates of about 4% (economy conditions related), plus 1% for accidents with total loss and 0.5% unrecovered stolen cars (as notified by insurance companies).

This way, Sindipeças is able to quantify the true fleet by taking previous years’ registrations into account.

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