Friday 22 September 2023

Import of new Chinese cars grows in a slumped market

Vehicles from China totaled US$25 million in 2020 and the fourth consecutive year of increases, unlike the total industry, whose contraction has continued since 2016.

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22 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – New car dealerships dedicated to the sale of Chinese vehicles, in 2020 recorded four consecutive years of dynamism, measured based on the import figures.

BAIC began operations in Costa Rica on March 9. In the image, SUV X5 vehicle (black color) whose launch price is US$23,900 and the BJ40 and starts at US$39,900

The reported growth began in 2016, in contrast to the general behavior of the automotive industry, which, precisely that year, rather began a process of reduction in the total value of new car imports that entered Costa Rica.

Last year, Chinese brands such as Great Wall, Geely, or BYD reported purchases equivalent to US$25 million, 10% more than the US$22.7 million in 2019, according to statistical data. of the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer).

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Currently, in Costa Rica more than a dozen brands of Chinese-made vehicles are being marketed, with the addition this week, on Tuesday, March 9, of the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC), one of the largest automobile manufacturers in that market.

The Costa Rican automotive sector had begun, in December 2019, a recovery in the sale of cars after more than two years of contraction. Between August 2017 and November 2019, the industry reported negative year-on-year variations in its activity, according to the monthly index of commercial activity prepared by the Central Bank.

However, the covid-19 pandemic happened and with it a drop of 42% in 2020.

The sale of automobiles began an acceleration process, in the second quarter of 2020, but it is still in negative territory. As of last December, the variation rate was -22.8%, according to data from the Central Bank.

Procomer figures show, at a general level, a total of US$363.3 million dollars (a drop of 33%) of new vehicles were imported, compared to US$544 million in 2019.

Market in acceleration

Ambacar, Cori Motors, and Veinsa Motors, the three main representatives of Chinese cars in the country, confirming that they did not face difficulties in supplying the market with new vehicles, as China was among the first countries to recover from the effects of the crisis sanitary, unlike other brands.

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“In general terms, the automotive sector had a decrease of more than 35%. Chinese brands managed to overcome better the crisis caused by the pandemic, managing to grow 18% and doubling their market share from 6% to almost 12%,” said Carlos Muñoz, manager of Ambacar, with the brands Great Wall, Haval, Soueast and DFS.


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