Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Import of Cars to Brazil

Igor Utsumi

Igor Utsumi

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Even with incentives for the installation of factories in Brazilian territory, many brands prefer to export its cars directly to the country. This article covers this subject and lists the main companies selling imported vehicles in Brazil.

The import of cars to Brazil basically happens in two different scales: there are the luxury vehicles with a lower volume of sales, and the more popular brands with cheaper cars and bigger sales volumes.


The entity that represents vehicle import companies and automakers in Brazil is Abeifa, acronym for Associação Brasileira das Empresas Importadoras e Fabricantes de Veículos Automotores, in Portuguese.

Abeifa was founded in 1991, and was formerly registered as Abeiva. There was a name change because of the installation of factories in Brazil by many foreign companies, causing them to become not only importers, but also manufacturers.

According to Abeifa, almost 113,000 vehicles were imported and registered in 2013 by its associated brands, which are 30 in total. This amount of importations represents a decrease of 13.7% in comparison to 2012. This can be explained in part, by the incentives given by the Brazilian government to the automobile companies housed in Brazil.

This market is expected to slightly recover in 2014. The first quarter, for example, registered a growth of 5.5% in the number of imported vehicles, when compared with the same period in 2013.


The list below shows the 15 foreign brands that imported the biggest number of vehicles to Brazil in 2013. All the information is provided by Abeifa.

Kia Motors

  • Country of origin - South Korea
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 29,134
  • Main models in Brazil - Cerato, Bongo, Picanto, Sorento, Soul

JAC Motors

  • Country of origin - China
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 15,980
  • Main models in Brazil - J2, J3, J3 Turin


  • Country of origin - Germany
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 13,887
  • Main models in Brazil - 3 Series, X1, 1 Series, X3

Land Rover

  • Country of origin - England
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 10,641
  • Main models in Brazil - Evoque, Discovery, Range Rover


  • Country of origin - China
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 8,067
  • Main models in Brazil - Celer, QQ, Tiggo, Face


  • Country of origin - Germany
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 6,686
  • Main models in Brazil - A3, Q3, A4, A5


  • Country of origin - Japan
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 4,879
  • Main models in Brazil - Gran Vitara, SX4


  • Country of origin - United States of America
  • Imported vehicles in 2013 - 3,581
  • Main models in Brazil - Grand Cherokee, Compass

The brands below also have vehicles imported by Brazil, but their volume of sales in 2013 has fallen to 3,000 units.

  • Aston Martin - Great Britain
  • Bentley - Great Britain
  • Changan - China
  • Chrysler - USA
  • DFSK - China
  • Dodge - USA
  • Ferrari - Italy
  • Geely - China
  • Hafei Motor - China
  • Haima - China
  • Jaguar - Great Britain
  • Jinbei - China
  • Lamborghini - Italy
  • Lifan - China
  • Maserati - Italy
  • Mazda - Japan
  • Mercedes-Benz (not associated to Abeifa) - Germany
  • Mini - Germany
  • Porsche - Germany
  • Rolls-Royce - Great Britain
  • SSangYong - South Korea
  • Volvo - Sweden

Local Production

The import of cars in Brazil suffered a bit in the past years, partly due to governmental initiatives that benefited companies that have at least a part of their manufacturing process in the country. Some examples are the increase of the IPI tax rate for imported vehicles, and other incentives for the local production, such as a tax rebate.

As a solution to this issue, foreign companies have installed, or are installing factories in Brazilian territory. Examples are JAC Motors, BMW, Chery and Audi.