Brazilian local automakers association Anfavea and nine other entities directly or indirectly involved in road freight have made a proposal to the federal government to renew the country’s fleet of lorries with payloads above 3.5 tonnes.

Studies concluded that, despite the fleet average age not being among the world's most ancient, over 200,000 units on the road are 30 or more years old. Most of these vehicles are in precarious condition from a  safety or maintenance viewpoint, do not meet any emissions requirements and fuel economy is poor. 

The plan calls for replacing 30,000 units per year with new or used vehicles that meet at least Euro 3 diesel emission rules. The percentage of older lorries involved in accidents is five times their percentage in the full fleet.

The proposal suggests offering finance at low interest rates for lorry owners and a cut in sales and motor vehicle property state taxes.

Attempts to rejuvenate Brazil's lorry fleet have been going on for at least 15 years. The last one dates back to 2008 and sought a bonus for anyone who scrapped an old vehicle.

This time, the gathering of so many interested parties, and those affected by the problem, increases the chances of success with federal and state governments.

The latest strategy focuses more sharply on road safety (and the financial burden on federal and state governments) and on the environment (with public health and related costs). 

There is no deadline yet for the authorities to respond. But, if plans are accepted, they will possibly form the basis of a more extensive project that may include light vehicles.

Excluding two wheelers, Brazil has a 40m unit fleet, the world’s sixth largest, but no renewal programme has ever been implemented.