SAO PAULO–Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV expects car sales will “stop worsening” in Brazil, the auto maker’s Latin America President, Stefan Ketter, said to reporters on the sidelines of the Sao Paulo auto show.
A combination of recession, unemployment and high borrowing costs is depressing car sales in Brazil, where the London-based company operates through four brand names: Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Jeep.
In the first ten months of this year, Fiat Chrysler sold a total of 201,017 passenger cars in Brazil, down 32.1% from the year-ago period, according to the national association of auto makers, known as Anfavea.
Mr. Ketter said that, despite the slump, the company has managed to break even in the Brazilian market.
“This is a great feat in such a challenging market,” he said.
Brazil’s economy contracted 3.8% last year and is forecast by economists to shrink around 3.2% this year, while unemployment is at 11%, up from 4.8% in 2014. The average interest rate in an auto loan is 26%, according to the central bank.
Brazil’s auto industry sold 1.67 million cars, light vehicles, trucks and buses this year through October, a 22.3% drop from the same period in 2015, according to Anfavea.
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