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 |  Nov 25 2011, 12:45 PM

In recent years, the number of cars in Latin America homes has grown exponentially. To take advantage of this growing market, car companies are offering cheap models to attract more customers into their showrooms.

Some of Latin America’s best selling cars pose high risks of life-threatening injuries and are considered to be two decades behind on safety when compared to cars sold in Europe and North America.

The Uruguay based Latin New Car Assessment Program said in a report released in Sao Paolo, that cars from four manufacturers pose the most risk to its occupants. The manufacturers and their models are the Chevrolet Celta, Corsa Classic and Cruz, the Nissan March and Tiida hatchback,  the Fiat Novo Uno (pictured) and the Ford Focus and Ka. These cars provide a one-star safety rating rather than five-star provided by cars sold in Europe and North America. Poor safety standards and ever growing traffic in these markets are resulting in many traffic fatalities.

Max Mosley, who is the chairman of the British based Global New Car Assessment Program says; “We are witnessing an unprecedented growth in automobile use in emerging markets like Brazil, China and India. Yet it is precisely in these countries where we face a growing death toll on the roads.”

The car companies mentioned in this report have not made any comment on these finding yet.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Sep 22 2010, 3:41 PM

General Motors’ Opel division is set to expand outside of Europe with its establishment in Chile and Israel. Reports say that GM has inked a deal with an independent distributor to sell Opel vehicles in Israel, independent of GM’s vehicle distribution channel in the country.

Despite selling Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Isuzu, through one channel,  Opel will be sold through its own network perhaps because of Opel’s premium positioning.

Meanwhile, Opel will launch in Chile as brand makes a foray into Latin America. Chile is South America’s most prosperous economies and avoids the high taxes that neighbouring Brazil places on cars. Michael Klaus, the executive director of Opel international operations, told the AP that “German automotive engineering has a high appeal in South America and we are glad to start with Chile.”

[Source: Sympatico Autos]