BMWs X1 followed the 3-series saloon into Brazilian assembly in November

BMW's X1 followed the 3-series saloon into Brazilian assembly in November

In contrast to the overall new car market in Brazil, which has been falling in 2014, with a 10% slump overall expected, premium models will see average growth of between 20% and 30%.

Volkswagen's Audi, for example, expects to sell 100% more than in 2013. "We are planning to deliver at least 10,000 units this year by enlarging the dealer network and the product portfolio”, Audi Brazil CEO Jörg Hofmann told newspaper O Estado de S Paulo.

Mercedes-Benz has gained traction thanks to 17 consecutive new model launchs, some of them into segments never previously contested here (eg CLA and GLA) along with the redesigned C-class. The company previously did not sell models here priced below BRL130,000/US$50,000. Widening the showroom choice alone has accounted for robust 15% to 20% year-on-year growth in Brazil this year.

For BMW this is easier because it is already assembling locally already while its two German rivals won't have local plants running till 2016 at the earliest.

In September the first 3-Series left the assembly line in Araquari, in the southern state of Santa Catarina. In November, it was X1’s turn - to be followed by X3, 1-Series and the Mini Countryman [also assembled in Malaysia - ed]. BMW Brazil's growth is estimated in the 10% to 15% region this year and, once again, it leads the premium segment.

From January to October 2014, Jaguar has expanded sales 23% year on year. But Land Rover shrank 12%, in a great extent due to import quota limits after it began to conform to Inovar-Auto rules only from last December.

Its recently announced plant is designed to assemble 24,000 units a year from 2016 (starting with the new Discovery Sport), more than double recent annual sales.

According to JLR Brasil’s CEO Terry Hill, luxury brands take 2% of Brazil's total market but he sees potential growth in coming years as significant.

"I estimate that by 2020 this percentage will have grown to something in the vicinity of 3% or even 5%," he said.

The most optimistic forecasts talk of 250,000 units yearly of vehicles currently priced from $35,000 and which could reach $500,000 or more.

Faster or slower growth will depend on both the business and consumer confidence indexes. Changes in economic policy to encourage higher investment, to the internal saving tax rate, and, as a consequence, to spark GDP growth, currently nil, will be necessary as well.

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