Economy & Energy
Year II - No 7

Olla_de_oro5362.gif (580 bytes)Main Page
Olla_de_oro5362.gif (580 bytes)Efficiency of the Internal Combustion Engine
Olla_de_oro5362.gif (580 bytes)Sales and Fleet of Otto Vehicles in Brazil
Olla_de_oro5362.gif (580 bytes)Energy Sector Highlights in 1997
Olla_de_oro5362.gif (580 bytes)How to Increase the Capital Productivity

Graphic Edition:
Editoração Eletrônic
Monday, 21 July 2003.

Sales and Fleet of Otto Vehicles in Brazil

Carlos Feu Alvim
Antônio José Guimarães de Oliveira
José Antônio Silvério
English Version:
Frida Eidelman

The Automotive Industry was the main pillar of the second phase of the Brazilian industrialization started in the JK (Juscelino Kubtchek) administration. It was the symbol of the process of foreign capital participation , with some space reserved for the national capital in the imports substitution cycle.

Still today this industry is important in the national panorama and it is considered by the late-industrialized federate states as a catalytic factor of the local development. The incentives war that was recently fought is the perfect proof of its prestige - perhaps exaggerated in the present economical situation - as a industrialization stimulator.

Besides that, it is the clearest industrial indicator of growth induced by the Real Plan , since the annual sales of cars and light vehicles changed from 670 thousand vehicles annually in 1992 to 1,870 thousand in 1997, with a dramatic increase of 190% in five years.

Since the car is a durable good whose demand was repressed for almost a decade, as will be seen by the fleet behavior, it is natural that in these first years there was a boom similar to that of the seventies. A tentative to foresee the future of sales for this industry is the objective of the present article.

Sales of Otto Cycle Vehicles

After the second petroleum chock the class of cars and light trucks was reserved to Otto cycle vehicle. The differentiation adopted for the Diesel oil price displaced the heavy fleet to this cycle. The commercialization of light vehicles and cars was practically forbidden in Brazil since that time,

The higher prices of gasoline also permitted the introduction with less subsidies of hydrated alcohol fuel and compressed gas as alternatives to gasoline and, besides that, made possible a higher content of anhydrous alcohol in the mixture.

Figure 1 shows the evolution of sales of gasoline-fueled national cars ( practically the totality of sales until the beginning of this decade). In 1980 the gasoline-fueled truck had already disappeared from the market and , during a period, the sales of any other gasoline-fueled vehicle were insignificant and were resumed from 1988 on.

Figure 1:
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Figure 2 shows the sale of Otto cycle vehicles, national and imported, and the participation of gasoline and alcohol in the sale of vehicles of this cycle ( total for cars and almost total for light trucks).

Figure 2
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 As can be noted, it was not possible in practice to regulate the market between gasoline and alcohol which were self exclusive. There is not a range of preference, like that between the Diesel and Otto cycles, according to the end use due to the difference between the fixed (higher for Diesel) and variable (higher for Otto) costs. Besides that, there is no marked difference between the performance of alcohol vehicles and that of gasoline that could determine a preference; the trends in fashion, which favor the resale price of the vehicles with highest sale, make the balance always unstable.

Evolution of the Fleet

During many years Brazil did not know about its fleet because statistics were based on the emission of taxing documents which were duplicated among municipalities and states.

This problem will be partially solved with the single registration since, still without the duplication problem, there will be no guaranty of cancellation of vehicles which are not circulating anymore. Because of that, the official numbers of the Transport Ministry, published by GEIPOT, were not trusted and for planning purposes it was adopted the number of vehicles deduced from sales and the use of an scraping curve, corrected by the effect of multiplication of documents. In the present work we adopted this approach which is still adopted by several governmental and private planning organizations.

The scraping curve used is illustrated in Figure 3 and assumes that the fleet of remaining vehicles fabricated in a specific year will be halved after 16 years and will disappear after 26 years.

Figure 3:
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 Using the data about the produced vehicles shown in Figure 1 the scraping curve of Figure 3 and assuming a hypothesis coherent with this curve relative to the small existing fleet one gets the fleet evolution curve shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4


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Adjustment of the Fleet Evolution

After 1992 the vehicle sale curves and mainly the fleet curves indicate a new phase in the establishment of the automotive sector in Brazil. C. Marchetti has shown in several works that the automotive sector in several countries developed in an S curve as that shown in the figure up to the year 1992, reaching a saturation point. Occasionally deep market changes - such as that of post-war in the USA - started a new cycle in industry which also followed the same type of curve (logistic curve). In Brazil we can define three phases: the one which preceded the national automotive industry (until 1959), the second started with its implantation and the third one marked by the opening to the external market.

We have fitted the logistic curves corresponding to the last two phases. This fitting is shown in Figure 5 and seems to describe the past fairly well.

Figure 5:

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 The data from 1960 to 1992 were fitted to the first logistic curve which
reaches its saturation point around a maximum of 10,000 vehicle. Then the
data from 1992 on were subtracted from the logistic curve which describes
the first cycle and the parabola fitting was applied to the corresponding
annual fleet variation (see Omar’s article in this issue). The results are
shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6:
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 The result indicates an additional fleet of 6,700 thousand vehicles and a total value of the Otto fleet, towards which we will develop in the next years, of about 17 million vehicles.

Projection of Vehicle Sales

If we have available the fleet projection we can deduce what annual vehicle sale will produce the new fleet value if the scraping behavior is the same. The result is shown in Figure 7 and indicates a decrease of sales in the internal market in the next years until the sales of cars and light vehicles stabilizes around 930 thousand vehicles annually.


Figure 7
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In a certain way it would be repeated what was observed in the previous cycle which culminated in 1980. The stabilization production would be in a higher plateau than that of the eighties and would practically reproduce the peak of the previous cycle.

There is an important factor used in the projections that perhaps would deserve some revision: how would vehicle scraping behave in the next years? Would it follow the previous standard, of a relatively long life or would it adapt to the standard of the more developed counties, namely an accelerated scraping?

In a future version of this work we will evaluate the influence of this parameter which may increase the perspective of vehicle sales in the country.