Latin America Poised to Recover From Crisis Faster Than U.S. The week got off to a bullish start with that takeaway headline from the FELABAN Banker’s Conference in Miami.
FELABAN President Ricardo Marino summarized, “Latin America was one of the last regions to be affected by the crisis. It will be one of the first to recover.” Now some corporate earnings reports are offering validation, especially in the uber-sensitive luxury car market.
BMW’s October sales numbers released yesterday showed a 52% increase in BMW and MINI units sold in Latin America over 2008. “The joy of driving is our key value,” said Gernot Volkmer BMW Latin America Group CEO in explaining strong demand in Argentina and other LatAm countries. It’s even more impressive when you consider roughly 70% of vehicle sales in Argentina are all cash deals.
“Vehicles are seen as an investment for many Argentines worried about high inflation at a time when local banks offer low interest rates for savings accounts,” according to Reuters’ Karina Grazina. And “the product offensive will continue,” according to BMW, “with the launch of the first premium compact SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) in the region, the new BMW X1, as well as with the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo scheduled to arrive in Latin America by early 2010.” As the BMW ads say in Argentina…Placer Tiene Muchas Formas.