Catching up with alcohol

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Brazil is a powerful Gas: this year sold well for the first time, more cars than in Germany. For the CO2 balance, however, is not fatal, because more than half of the fuel in South America’s super-climate is obtained that makes a neutral out of sugar cane.


Tom Grünweg

From Rio de Janeiro Tom Grünweg reported

Tom Grünweg

More of Tom’s articles Grünweg

Friday, 04.06.2010
11:56 PM

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At eight in the morning in Rio de Janeiro: All major streets are connected to one-way traffic, eight lanes, the cars slide on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. In the other large cities of the vast country, it hardly looks different. And this is only the beginning. The former emerging-market country is far from an emerging industrial nation. In addition to China and India, Brazil is one of the major growth markets for the car industry, says industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the University of Duisburg-Essen. The Figures show that, Since 2006 has doubled the market almost, and in the past year at just over three million new registrations. This year, the Brazilians will overtake according to current forecasts, even the Germans, as a car buyer, and therefore, number three in the world rankings to rise.

The market in Brazil is not yet saturated for a long time. “Come here a thousand citizens, about 500 cars are there in Brazil so far, only 114”, says Dudenhöffer. With 190 million inhabitants and a huge Potential. “To be successful in Brazil, but only those who produce there,” says the expert. Peugeot, Ford, Chevrolet, Renault and Mercedes have factories on-site. And the largest Fiat plant in Italy, but in Belo Horizonte. The brand builds per year, 800,000 cars and around one Million engines. This means the market leader, with Almost 25% share of sales, the Fiat only in Rio – and no longer in Rome.

Place two VW ranked. With four factories, in which 22 of different types are manufactured, the brand the widest model range in the country. Also, Brazil’s best seller for already 23 years, the Gol, coming from VW. After nearly 700,000 shipments in the last year, the group intends to continue to invest to grow, and by 2014 a Million cars in the year to sell a target in the VW around 2.3 billion euros.

Approvals in 2009 in Brazil (passenger Cars & light commercial vehicles)

Market share in units
Market share in %

Fiat Group













Iveco Mercosul




CAR/ University of Duisburg-Essen

The vehicle fleet in the country is exotic and yet familiar. The Opel models Astra and Corsa are popular in Brazil; many of the taxi drivers drive Opel Meriva and again and again an old VW over chugging Bus of the Generation of T2, the VW here for years. Although Volkswagen equips the car now with a liquid-cooled engine, otherwise, the Bus remained largely unchanged. Sometimes Brazilian models to Europe: the VW Fox for example or the sports coupé of the Mercedes C-class. Conversely, however, hardly works, fine European models you only see very rarely in Brazil.

At all gas stations in Brazil, Ethanol is offered

Brazil is not only a Paradise of the auto bosses, but also environmental and Energy policy for the schools of the country. Because the Brazilians have been solved, thanks to Ethanol made from sugar cane largely from the dependence on oil. The bioalcohol is there at all to 35,000 gas stations in the country. With around 30 billion litres per year of Ethanol is now one of the three most important energy sources in Brazil, says Adhemar Altieri from the Association of Brazilian sugar industry. “Diesel is only for buses and trucks, passenger Cars and light commercial vehicles Ethanol is a market share of more than 50 percent.”

The Ethanol program dates back to the time of the first oil crisis in the seventies. “A Kick to the market in 2003 with the introduction of so-called Flex-Fuel models,” says Altieri. Thanks to a special engine control system, these cars burn Ethanol or gasoline in any mixture ratio. So the driver can react when Refueling flexibly to the current prices and the cheapest Fuel to choose. In the selection of small tables, in which around 30 per cent higher fuel consumption in Ethanol-operation is taken into account to help. Flex-Fuel vehicles are now Standard in Brazil, there are now even the first vehicles that you can refuel with natural gas.

Ethanol from sugar cane and crude oil from the seabed

Although Ethanol is considered to be a herbal product as a fairly CO2-neutral, but there is also criticism. Environmentalists fear, given the huge acreage of the Brazilian rain forest, ethicists, the prices and the production of food. Both factions tried to calm Association spokesman Altieri. “In Brazil, there is plenty of space,” says the Lobby representatives. Currently, eight million hectares of sugar cane cultivation accounted for only 2.5 percent of the agricultural area. The grazing of the meat industry surfaces 35 are times. In addition, sugar cane plantations were far from the rain forest. “There, it would be too wet for harvest.”

Although gasoline in Brazil is almost a niche fuel, expanding the country crude oil production. During a trip to the sugar loaf can be addressed, the view of the sea, see how the state-owned Oil company Petrobras is just one of the largest oil deposits in the world opens up.

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