Auto production in Argentina continued to fall at the beginning of the year, having dropped 32.2% compared to twelve months before. This means total January auto production was 14.803 units, which is 7.055 less than in January 2018, 21.858. The figures were made public by Argentina's Automobile Manufacturers Association, Adefa.
Performance during January with the December backdrop forces us to be most prudent as to how the auto sector is going to behave this year, said Luis Fernando Peláez Gambo, Adefa president.
The numbers confirm that January has been the fifth month running of retraction for the Argentine auto industry, In December production was down 38.5% compared to December 2017, with the overall fall for 2018 of 1.4%.
Adefa said that 2018 took off with the best of prospects and estimates of record production for the industry, but the financial turbulences of midyear have meant that output and sales last year were more in line, or even below, historic averages.
Likewise auto exports in December, fell after twelve months of sustained growth. And in January shipments totaled 7.403, that is 3.006 less than in the same month of 2018, (10.409) which represent a drop of 28.9%, according to Pelaez Gamboa.
Retraction was mainly because a fall in demand from Argentina's main export market which is Brazil. In January, 4.346 units were shipped to Brazil, or 3.043 less than in January 2018.
With the significant falls in December and January, output was down and likewise exports. We will have to wait and look closely at numbers at the end of the first quarter, to see where the market is heading for. Meanwhile we shall continue working on new international negotiations and searching for ways to increase competitiveness, pointed out Pelaez Gamboa.
Adefa also confirmed that sales to dealers during the year contracted 53.4%, with car registering down 50.4%, which is the lowest in a decade. January is the ninth month running in which dealers have been working at a loss, pointed out Adefa.