The expected slow-down ahead of the Bogotá show boost resulted in the lowest September new vehicle sales here in Colombia for three years.

According to Econometría statisticians, sales were off 22.1% year on year last month to 22,492 units and 4.6% lower than in September 2010 when 23,579 were sold.

So far this year, 235,090 new vehicles have been sold, down 2.6% year on year. Econometría has lowered its full year forecast from 325,000 to 310,000 units as it now estimates an average of 25,000 a month in the final quarter. This the first time in three years the forecast has been lowered at this point of the year.

Though the central bank said the economy was growing better than expected at 4.9% in the second quarter, commercial banks are cautious over Europe and have tightened up on lending for items such as cars. 

Potential buyers are also waiting to see what is launched – and the deals on offer at this dealer-sponsored retail event – at the Bogotá motor show in November.

January–August data showed a 2012 year to date decrease in passenger car sales (-12.5%), taxis (-12.4%) and pickup trucks (-14.6%%) but an increase in SUVs (14.2%), vans (23.6%), buses (19.6%) and trucks (88.6%), due to increased sales to the growing petroleum and mining sectors.

Chevrolet is market leader so far with 59,009 vehicles sold in 2012 for market share of 27.8% and volume reduction of 17%; Renault is second with 28,271 (13.3%, -11%); Hyundai, 20,325 (9.6%, +6%); Kia, 17,817(8.4%, -2%); Nissan, 17,264 (8.1%, +12%); Toyota, 9,480 (4.5%, +5%); Mazda, 6,899 (3.2%, -23%); Volkswagen, 6,648 (3.1%, +18%); Ford, 6,555 (3.1%, -3%) and Mercedes Benz, 1,975 (0.9%, +35%).