Market protection in the form of tariffs and quotas on imports has prompted companies to open or expand automotive production facilities within Brazil, which have helped stimulate the local economy. In fact, the Brazilian automotive industry had a production capacity of more than five million vehicles in 2018, generating jobs for more than 130 thousand Brazilians. That same year, Brazil produced about 2.4 million passenger cars, continuing a growing trend from 2016, when passenger car production reached its lowest level at least since 2004, mostly due to the macroeconomic crisis the country endured since 2014. When it comes to car manufacturers; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Volkswagen are some of the leading manufacturers in the light vehicle segment, based on market share.
As the Brazilian economy has started bouncing back in recent years, so have motor vehicle sales. Vehicle sales amounted to 2.5 million units in 2018, portraying a notable increase from the 2.2 million units sold a year earlier. In a 2017 survey, it was found that subcompact vehicles such as Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta remain the most used car types in Brazil.
Recent data shows that the automotive multinational corporation FCA, which markets the brands Fiat, Jeep and Chrysler, is the one with the highest number of dealerships spread throughout the Brazilian territory, followed by Ford and Volkswagen. Chevrolet and Volkswagen were also among the most popular car makes according to Brazilian consumers. In the passenger car segment, General Motors was the brand with the largest market share in Brazil, while the light commercial vehicle market was led by FCA.