A market of 290,000 units was expected, but they already think it may be less than 280,000. With the availability of models, this exchange rate gap could exceed 300,000.
In an automobile market as unpredictable as Argentina's, few dare to make definitive forecasts but more and more people are imagining that the next few months will be harder than expected. In this context and according to a survey conducted by Ámbito among dealers, terminals and importers, the sector is already beginning to cut back on projections for this year and they sense that it will be difficult to reach the goal of 290,000 units set, quite cautiously, two months ago. The reason for this rethinking is centered on the worsening of the shortage of models due to import barriers added to the slow recovery of production after the first stage of the quarantine.
The figures for the first days of August show a fall of 32% compared to a year ago and a total market of 28,000 units is forecast for the month, slightly less than July. Some estimates from the sector's entrepreneurs place the 2020 figure at 280,000 vehicles or less. Of course, the outlook would be different if the market were normalized. "With the pace of car liberation that we had before the obstacles, we could be at a volume of 300,000 units by this year," acknowledged a senior executive of an automaker. This means that between the projection based on a fluid market and the one expected due to the lack of units, this year some 20,000 vehicles will be sold less than the demand.
"Technically, we are 40% below the annualized volume of operations in 2019, but in this country, you never know what will happen, for better or for worse," said a businessman who knows the sector. The unknown that he left floating is due to the many variables that are at stake. The gap with the blue, the availability of dollars, the exchange rate parity, the implementation of reactivation measures that the government is working on, inflation and the evolution of the pandemic are just some of the factors that can raise or lower the thumb of demand.
The delays in authorizing the entry of vehicles, through the filter imposed by the SIMI customs procedure, added to the uncertainty of the dealers about the possibilities of replacing units and at what value they will do so, cause this shortage. Sellers remove their stock from sale to avoid decapitalisation. This is reflected in the surcharges of up to 20% that are being asked to acquire some 0 km, added to three or four months of waiting for deliveries of many models. This means that many interested parties do not validate these surcharges and are not willing to wait with open prices.
It is estimated that of the 10,000 vehicles that were delayed at the port, there are currently between 5,000 and 7,000 still waiting for their entry authorization. Beyond this, there is an important stock in the dealerships but, in general, these are cars that do not generate interest in buyers and need discounts to attract them. From an agency of one of the brands that has one of the most coveted models, they were forceful when asked about how much they would oversell if there were availability of units: "with this gap in exchange and the amount of customers on the waiting list that we have, we could sell 100% more if the factories had vehicles"