Chinese Electric Cars Flood The Brazilian Automotive Market

Chinese automakers are making their way into Brazil’s electric car market, which has been dominated by American, European, and Japanese companies. BYD and GWM, China’s two largest electric car manufacturers, have announced investments of over $2.5 billion to begin local production in Brazil this year. These two companies will be utilizing former Ford and Mercedes factories that recently left Brazil. The Brazilian market will now have access to more affordable and simpler electric and hybrid cars from China, competing with Japan and Europe. According to the Brazilian Electric Vehicle Association, sales in the segment are expected to grow by more than 90% in 2023 compared to the previous year. Ricardo, who is also the president of the association, believes that the Brazilian market will continue to grow this year, with a forecast of a new record sales of around 150,000 units sold in Brazil this year.

Brazil is the sixth largest car market in the world, with over 2 million cars sold in the country in 2023, according to Brazil’s National Automakers Association. Electric and hybrid vehicles still represent a small portion of this market, at around 5%, but have grown steadily in recent years. Some analysts say Brazil does not need to switch to electric vehicles because almost all cars on Brazilian roads use low-emission fuels that do not require infrastructure changes, such as installing charging stations. Brazil has ethanol and some internal developments using hydrogen, making it a viable option for the long term.

Brazil’s two largest car manufacturers, Volkswagen from Germany and General Motors, have also announced new investments worth billions of dollars. Volkswagen announced that it would invest $1.8 billion to modernize its facilities and start production of hybrid and electric cars in Brazil, while General Motors pledged to invest $4 billion in its production facilities in Brazil, but has not yet announced any new plans to start vehicle production. The electricity in the country comes from Arlington, Virginia. I’m Helmey Johannes, and this was the VOA team.