In addition to the welcome news from Chrysler, Fiat also received a cheering report from Latin America: Fiat set a new all-time record for production and sales in Brazil, posting the best performance in its 36-year operating history in the country. Full-year sales of cars and light commercial vehicles totaled 838,219 units, representing an 11.1% increase over the prior year (754,276 units) and a 10.2% increase over the previous sales record of 760,495 units set in 2010.
The sales leader for the past 11 years, Fiat outperformed the overall light vehicle market where sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles increased 6.1% in 2012 to 3,634,510 units (compared to 3,426,290 units sold in 2011). As a consequence, Fiat increased its share to 23.1% from 22% in 2011. In December, sales totalled 74,465 units.
“This year’s performance, our best in the 36 years since we began operating in Brazil, was attributable to the fact that we anticipated the market recovery and were ready to ramp up production at just the right moment to ensure we gained market position and share”, said Cledorvino Belini, Chairman of Fiat/Chrysler for Latin America.
Major players in the wining performance included the Uno, Fiat’s leading model with 255,149 units sold, and the Strada, with 117,464 units delivered.
Fiat also set an all-time production record in Brazil with 759,000 cars and light commercial vehicles produced, representing a 12.5% increase over 2011 (675,000 units) and a 10% increase over the previous record of 690,000 units.
Meanwhile, Fiat has announced that it will exercise its option to purchase a second tranche of 3.3% stake in Chrysler held by the UAW’s retiree healthcare trust. The net amount of the purchase will be $198 million. Fiat will then own a 65.17% stake in Chrysler.