With the World Cup in Brazil fully underway we thought we’d take a look at everything South America’s biggest country has to offer in terms of cars. Below is all the essential facts you need to know about cars in Brazil.
Brazil’s Best Selling Car
In the most football mad country on Earth it’s no surprise that the number one selling car is the VW Gol (or should that be Gooooooooooool?), what you may not know is that the Gol has been the best selling car in Brazil for 26 of the last 27 years! It dropped to number two in 1994, but has been back on top ever since.
The Brazilian Car Boom
New car registrations grew from 1.35 million in 2003 to 3.6 million in 2013, tripling the number of new cars in Brazil in just a decade as the expanding economy helped a boom in demand for automobiles. The 2013 figures actually represent a dip in demand as new car ownership fell by 2%, but Brazil remains the fourth biggest auto market in the world.
Brazil has the largest network of roads in Latin America – over 1.6million kilometres in total. However, in the infrastructure has suffered from lack of investment – according to the National Confederation of Transportation, 69% of Brazilian roads are in bad conditions. They also have a rate of road fatalities almost twice as high as neighbours Chile and Argentina.
Locally Made Cars in Brazil
As well as manufacturing cars produced by global brands such as Volkswagen and Fiat, Brazil also has several domestic models. There is the 4×4 ‘Stark’ produced by Tecnologia Automotiva Catarinense (TAC), the Obvio 828 – a minicar and the Lobini H1, a sports car first produced in 2005 and inspired by the Lotus Elise.
Brazil and Biofuels
Brazil is the second largest producer of ethanol fuel in the world after the USA. Brazil’s advanced agricultural technology industry and huge amounts of land have allowed it to become a world leader in biofuels. Over 95% of their cars are ‘flex-fuel’, meaning they can use a blend of ethanol and gasoline fuels with 100% of gas stations offering ethanol. This has saved Brazil an estimated 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions since 2003.
Brazil and Formula 1
Brazil has a rich history in motor racing, the first Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix was held in 1972 and has been a fixture ever since. Three different Brazilians have won the F1 World Championship, the first was Emerson Fittipaldi, also in 1972, who was followed by Nelson Piquet and the late, great Ayrton Senna who were both three time champions. More recently drivers like Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa have continued to fly the flag for Brazil on the track.