Cars and pickups: the best-selling models of 2020 and the bets to push sales this year

The market fell in 2020 but luxury brands took advantage of the exchange gap and grew
The market fell in 2020 but luxury brands took advantage of the exchange gap and grew

2020 ended, in the final stretch of which the automotive sector raised sales somewhat due to the exchange rate gap after several months with the dealerships closed and the record having been given that for the first time in the history of the local automotive industry, in one month (April) 0 units were manufactured, in the middle of total isolation.

According to data from the Association of Dealers of the Argentine Republic (Acara), in December 20,580 vehicles were patented in Argentina, 41% less than in November and 3.6% less than in December 2019.

The final record of the year shows the complex situation of the industry. So much so that you have to go back 16 years to find a smaller quantity than what dealerships sold in 2020.

A Volkswagen Amarok, displayed at a car dealership.  For several months, the dealerships were closed REUTERS / Agustin Marcarian
A Volkswagen Amarok, displayed at a car dealership. For several months, the dealerships were closed REUTERS / Agustin Marcarian

With these numbers during the last month of the year – which is usually low because buyers seek to patent the units with the new year model – the total of units sold last year was 342,474 vehicles, which meant a fall of 25.5 % compared to 2019 figures.

Accumulated

In the accumulated, the German Volkswagen was the brand that sold the most units (57,133) followed by the Japanese Toyota (43,621). In third place was the French Renault (42,843).

One piece of information that shows the importance of the gap between the price of the Banco Nación dollar and that of the parallel market is that very few brands managed to grow in sales compared to 2019 and in general those that did are those of high-end imported units such as Audi (+ 3.9%), RAM (65%), Mitsubishi (62.5%), Volvo (43.9%) and Lexus, which increased their sales 19.2 percent.

Asian brands, such as KYC and Changan, deserve a separate paragraph, which due to not having units in 2019, showed growth in sales during 2020.

Regarding the most sold models, the Hilux pickup from Toyota stands out in first place, with 19,064 patented units, even with a 24.1% drop compared to 2019. In second place is the Onix de Chevrolet -which in the car category was the best seller- with 16,569 patented units and a growth of 0.1 percent.

Fiat’s Cronos model completed the podium with 16,558 (+ 49.4%) and in fourth place was the model that was the best-selling model for several years, the Volkswagen Gol Trend, with 14,571 units.

The Chevrolet Onix, one of the best-selling models in a very difficult year.
The Chevrolet Onix, one of the best-selling models in a very difficult year.

Here come the pick-ups

After that squad of cars the pick-ups reappear that have the advantage that as they are work units for the legislation they do not pay the Internal Tax and are occupying an increasingly important space in the local market to the point that one is the best-selling model.

Thus, in fifth place appeared the Volkswagen Amarok (12,929 units, + 2%), in sixth place the Ford Ranger (11,341, down 2.6%).

Then the cars that most appeal to the taste of consumers reappear. There were 10,488 patents for the Peugeot 208 model, 10,217 for the Ford Ka, 9,947 for the Toyota Etios and 9,779 for the T-Cross of the German Volkswagen.

The sector is committed to growing in 2021 hand in hand with the vaccine, less isolation and the presentation of new models that, according to what some brands have been announcing, will be a mix of those that could not be presented in 2020, due to the pandemic, and others that were originally scheduled for this year.

An image of Toyota's successful Hilux model
An image of Toyota’s successful Hilux model

Meanwhile, the automotive sector awaits the sending of a law to Congress that presents benefits for brands that manufacture locally and only one major launch of a model manufactured in the country is expected: the Volkswagen Taos at the Pacheco plant, to which VW will add importing the e-Up! and the T-Cross 1.0 TSi.

Almost all brands are expected to import new models or reworked versions of existing ones. According to the specialized site Autoblog, some of the new models that will be seen in dealerships will be, for the middle price segment of the brands called “generalists”: the Chevrolet Onix RS, Citroën C3, C4 Cactus Rip Curl. Peugeot will bring the 208 GT and the French Renault will have the Captur turbo and the Duster II, as well as the Zoe. Italy’s Fiat will use the 500 BSG Mild-Hybrid, Argo Trekking and Argo / Cronos 1.3 Turbonafta models. And the North American Ford would bring the New F-150 Lariat Luxury and Raptor as well as the Bronco and the Transit.

The Asians will also bet on new models, including the fourth version of the Honda Fit and the new HR-V. And Toyota will seek to increase its presence with the Corolla Cross and GR-Sport, the Hilux GR-Sport III among others.

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