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Argentina

Where Is Latin America Car Craziest? Think Southern Cone

As evidenced by new car sales, consumers in Chile and Argentina and out-buying their counterparts in some much larger countries, including Brazil and China, members of the much talked about BRICS club.

Bumper to bumper traffic in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bumper to bumper traffic in Buenos Aires, Argentina

*NEWSBITES

Argentina and Chile may be relatively small players as far as global economics are concerned, but when it comes to per capita purchasing power, they have a way of punching above their weight.

New car sales are a good example. A study carried out by the Argentine consulting firm Abeceb found that so far this year, Chileans and Argentines are snatching up more "straight-out-of-the-showroom" vehicles per capita than are Mexicans, Brazilians and even Chinese.

In Brazil and China, the current rate of new car sales per 1,000 residents is 10.7 and 7.6 respectively. Argentines, in contrast, are buying nearly 13 new vehicles per 1,000 residents. In Chile, the rate is 11.6, while in Mexico, only 4.3 new cars are being sold per 1,000 residents. The world leaders in new car sales are Canada (27.8 vehicles) and the United States (23.9).

In the case of Argentina, the numbers are generating a boom for the automotive industry. "This past August, there were 79,826 units sold, 39% more than during the same month last year," Abeceb reported. The industry expansion is occurring both at the commercial and production level. At this pace, new car sales in Argentina could total approximately 830,000 in 2011.

For a sense of just how strong the Argentine car market is, it's worth making a comparison with Mexico, where new vehicles sales are also on the rise. "The Mexican market grew 10.3% over the first six months of the year, with total sales of 479,000 units." During that same period, sales in Argentina – which has only a third of Mexico's population – totaled 517,000 units.

In terms of market growth, Argentina also outpaced the United States, Brazil and China, where new car sales rose 10.9%, 8.6% and 5.5% respectively.

Read more from AméricaEconomía in Spanish

Photo – Blmurch

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Decisive Spring? How Ukraine Plans To Beat Back Putin's Coming Offensive

The next months will be decisive in the war between Moscow and Kyiv. From the forests of Polesia to Chernihiv and the Black Sea, Ukraine is looking to protect the areas that may soon be the theater of Moscow's announced offensive. Will this be the last Russian Spring?

Photo of three ​Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Anna Akage

Ukrainian forces are digging new fortifications and preparing battle plans along the entire frontline as spring, and a probable new Russian advance, nears.

But this may be the last spring for occupying Russian forces.

"Spring and early summer will be decisive in the war. If the great Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the downfall of Russia and Putin," said Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

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Skinitysky added that Ukraine believes Russia is planning a new offensive in the spring or early summer. The Institute for the Study of War thinks that such an offensive is more likely to come from the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk than from Belarus, as some have feared.

Still, the possibility of an attack by Belarus should not be dismissed entirely — all the more so because, in recent weeks, a flurry of MiG fighter jet activity in Belarusian airspace has prompted a number of air raid alarms throughout Ukraine.

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