Flex Fuel Powertrains Dominate Brazilian Passenger Vehicle Market
SAO PAULO--Nov. 13, 2013: Emission regulations such as PROCONVE and the tax structure in Brazil will play a key role in altering the powertrain mix by 2020. Supportive programs like the INOVAR Auto Directive and IPI tax structure will not only augment the growth of the automotive market in the region but also encourage domestic production and innovation. Flex fuel will continue to be the most dominant fuel type, with over 80 percent penetration expected in 2020. Technologies such as turbocharging and direct injection with flex fuel too will gain prominence in the medium and long terms.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (Frost Automotive), Future of the Powertrain Market and Engine Technology Uptake Analysis in Brazilian Passenger Vehicles, finds that powertrain production that stood at 2.9-3.3 million units in 2012 will grow to reach 3.9–4.2 million units in 2020.
However, making state-of-the-art powertrain technologies affordable is a key challenge facing the Brazilian market, as the costs of production as well as vehicle ownership remain high. With increasing customer demand for sophisticated and convenient technology, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and suppliers alike are expected to introduce technologies across vehicle portfolios to achieve economies of scale.
"Creating OEM powertrain strategies and introducing technologies such as turbo-downsizing, variable valve timing/actuation (VVT/VVA), and direct injection on a global level are considered the best approach to attain economies of scale," said Frost & Sullivan Automotive and Transportation Senior Research Analyst Yeswant Abhimanyu. "Offering entire engine packages and low-cost options will also help capitalize on opportunities, and hence, suppliers are looking to set up facilities in Brazil to avoid the high import taxes."
Powertrain manufacturers should focus on innovation in flex fuel technologies to match commercially available technologies for gasoline and diesel. This is crucial as flex fuel will remain popular due to the flexibility it offers customers in terms of choosing the fuel type according to price and availability as well as Brazil's strong intent to follow a sustainable fuel matrix.
"Meanwhile, lobbyists and OEMs are pushing to ease the government ban on diesel passenger vehicles with a pulling capacity of less than 1000 kilograms, as it puts a potential energy source out of bounds," added Abhimanyu. "The withdrawal of this mandate will provide more vehicle options to the growing and demanding customer base and quicken powertrain and engine technology market expansion in Brazil."
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