Blog: Dave LeggettBrazil's tough times

Dave Leggett | 17 July 2003

Just-auto editorial contributor Chris Wright has been in touch to say that he's back from a trip to Brazil and can write us an overview on the South American market. I'm looking forward to seeing what he provides. Brazil's vehicle market has slumped lately under the weight of high interest rates needed to protect its depreciated currency. Pity. It looked as if Brazil had finally cracked the stability nut when it avoided going the same way as Argentina last year, but now the old worries about economic and political volatility are back. Suzuki has already decided to abandon Brazil because of the effects of the currency depreciation and others could follow. Overcapacity down there is a big problem and Argentina's market - a major customer for Brazilian plants - is still very much in the doldrums also. Maybe the answer for some manufacturers is to export from the region, gaining advantage from low currencies - but not all will be able to do that. How long will they put up with big losses?


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