Brazilian vehicle sales plunge in August amid weak consumer confidence

Sales of new vehicles in Brazil have plunged, led lower by fast declining sales of new trucks, as consumers are showing weak confidence in the country`s economy, the country's National Federation for the Distribution of Automotive Vehicles said.

According to statistics released Wednesday by the association, known as Fenabrave for its Portuguese acronym, 207,269 vehicles including trucks, buses and cars were sold in August. That's a 23.9 percent decline from 272,448 sold in the same month a year earlier.

Sales of trucks alone reached a total of 5,836 in August, a 46.1 percent decline from August 2014.

“According to Fenabrave´s president, Alarico Assumpcao Junior, there were not any changes in the political scenario of the country that resulted in consumers continuing to lack confidence to invest in the acquisition of a new vehicle,” Fenabrave said in a statement published along with the statistics.

New vehicle sales also fell compared to 227,613 units in July. Assumpcao did note that in August there were 21 business days, down from 23 in July.

Brazilian media has said that the figures for vehicle sales this year are among the lowest in nearly a decade.

The cumulative sales during the previous 12 months of 1.75 million cars, buses and trucks is 21.4 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Also in August, 99,901 motorcycles were sold, which was a decline of 10.3 percent from August 2014. 

Fenabrave groups together 51 brands of vehicles buses, trucks, buses, agricultural equipment and motorcyles. Sales figures represent 7,900 distributors of domestic and imported vehicles that provide employment to 400,000 workers and represent about 5 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product, according to information provided by the organization in its website.

The three biggest selling automobile brands in August were Fiat, with 14.6 percent of the market, followed by General Motors with 13.8 percent and Volkswagen with 13.3 percent. Fiat was also the biggest selling brand in August in light commercial vehicles and trucks. In these two areas, Volkswagen came in second while General Motors was third.