Colombia's motor vehicle industry upbeat on 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New vehicle sales in Colombia fell 6.1% in 2017 but sector association Andemos expects a rebound for 2018.

In December, 25,424 units were sold, bringing the total for the year to 238,238. The biggest decline over the year, 32.6%, occurred in the van segment.

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Andemos forecasts new vehicle sales could pass the 250,000 milestone this year.

"We believe that the stability in macroeconomic variables such as exchange rates and interest rates, and stronger consumer confidence indicators observed in 2017, are going to bolster internal demand," said Andemos, which represents vehicle importers and assemblers.

Andemos also cited as positive factors trade deals inked with countries including the US, a more transparent commercial vehicle registration mechanism, and the country's burgeoning hybrid and electric vehicle segments.

Annual inflation in Colombia was running at 4.12% in November, just above the government's target range of 2-4%.

The finance ministry forecasts the economy will expand 2.7% this year, with growth underpinned by household consumption, exports and investment, with the financial, construction and manufacturing sectors set to benefit most.

In November, the OECD said that Colombia's economy would expand 1.7% in 2017, down from its previous projection of 2.2%.

According to the Paris-based body, South America's third-largest economy remains impacted by a sharp decline in the price of oil, the country's main export.