ANFAVEA: First quarter production increased 2% compared to 2020, but sales fell 5,4%
The first quarter of 2021 ended with a frustrating vehicle sales performance of 527,9 thousand units sold representing a drop of 5,4% over the same period of 2020. But what really worries is the 23% retraction in relation to last quarter of last year, halting the recovery process that slowly started during the second semester. The comparison between March figures brings an illusory growth of 15,7%, however our sales stopped almost completely in the middle of March 2020 due to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Associação Nacional dos Fabricantes de Veículos Automotores (ANFAVEA), the production in the first quarter registered 597,8 thousand units (200,3 thousand of them in March, the best month of the year so far), 2% higher than 2020, largely driven by the excellent results of trucks and light commercial vehicles. Despite the shutdown of some factories during the last week of the month due to lack of components and the worsening of the pandemic, several automakers managed, in a logistical effort, to assemble units that were uncompleted waiting for parts.
The best quarter result cames from exports, with 95,8 thousand units, 7,6% higher than 2020. Vehicle inventory at factories and dealerships remains at a low level of 101,1 thousand units. Direct jobs were relatively stable considering the pandemic, with a total of 104,7 employees. 2,3 thousand jobs were lost, representing 2,1% of the workforce.
Until the expected recovery at the second half of the year, the next three months will present challenges. “We have three issues of great concern”, alerts Luiz Carlos Moraes, president of ANFAVEA. “The first one is the alarming situation of the pandemic, which should only stabilize in the medium term with the acceleration of vaccination. The second is the economic scenario, threatened not only by the pandemic, but also by the excess of political noise. Finally, we have some production bottlenecks, especially from electronic components, a global problem that we have no control and that should last throughout the year, The moment demands responsibility from all spheres of government for an effort to vaccinate the entire population, to control public budget, as well as to unblock the reformist agendas in the National Congress, which can help to reduce the Brazil Cost”, said Moraes.