If March sales figures were any indication, 2010 will be a very good year for European luxury automakers exporting to Argentina.
According to iProfesional; Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all posted double or triple-digit gains in units sold compared to March 2009. Several factors are contributing to the current boom: the falling Euro, pent-up demand after automakers slashed production and exports in ’09 and the introduction of several new luxury models in Argentina like the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo.
BMW posted the largest gain with a 142% increase in units sold; 44% of those were 300 series models. Porsche was second with a 100% increase in units sold, while Audi posted a 52% increase. Of the four main European luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz sold the most units (588) in March.
And local analysts say the boom-de-lujo is not limited to autos; high-end consumer demand for fine watches, jewelry and whiskeys is also strong thanks in large part to the strength of the Brazilian economy which is being described as an umbrella for Argentine companies posting record exports of cars, appliances and textiles to consumption-minded Brazil.
Inflation has also forced the hand of Argentine retailers who are offering attractive, peso-denominated payment plans on goods once reserved for the upper class like large-screen LCD televisions. iProfesional also credits the European automakers for offering attractive financing plans like BMW’s four-year, 0% interest plan and bringing entry-level model prices down to around US$30,000. (Full article)