No cars imported until the end of the year: due to a lack of dollars, the government has asked car manufacturers to restrict imports as much as possible


The government has asked automakers for a balanced trade balance until the end of the year. (N / A)

If until now the automotive market suffered from a lack of vehicles due to the scarcity of foreign currencies, basically imported, in the coming months the scenario could worsen. The plans of the Minister of Economy, Serge Massato receive dollars via agriculture, international organizations and/or bank loans takes longer than expected, so his team has already started to review the trade balance of the various sectors and postpone the planned plans until the end of the year.

The automotive sector is one of the sectors that generates the most dollars, but at the same time, it is also one of the most demanded sectors. as it is highly depends on imported parts For vehicle manufacturing, the trade balance was historically in deficit, despite repeated attempts by recent governments to move forward with import substitution based on greater demand for local content in units. With the increasing restrictions on the entry of cars from abroad, due to the lack of dollars, the red of the sector has decreased considerably and the estimate for this year was around $1–1.5 billionaccording to private and official sources.

But the context is so delicate that the development has become an emergency. This is why the recently arrived Secretary of Commerce, Matias Tombolinimet with the leaders of the Association of Automobile Factories (Adefa) last week and this Monday to ask them for their “greater commitment” to achieving a trade surplus in the next four months. how he was able to rebuild Infobaethe first request was more severe, but then they resolved that each terminal brings you a proposal with the maximum possible effort what they can do to achieve a positive balance between September and December. Meanwhile, in August, the government failed to approve a single SIMI and cars are piling up at the port, the sources added.

The Secretary of Commerce, Matías Tombolini, has already had two meetings with Adefa and now the meetings with each terminal will begin
The Secretary of Commerce, Matías Tombolini, has already had two meetings with Adefa and now the meetings with each terminal will begin

“We reduced imports and each company had established a guideline for production, exports and imports. So we adapted to that model and now they want to wipe the slate clean, but you can’t change everything overnight. Here there is production planning, cars that are exported to other countries and vehicles that come to Argentina,” a source noted from a terminal.

According to the figures processed by the companies, the accumulated deficit is around 600 million dollars, although the government assures that it is already 1,000 million dollars and that since this is the number that had been hired for the whole year, in the months remaining until the end of the year, the sector must break even or, at best, a surplus. A really difficult goal, they agree in the industry.

In turn, the figures for the auto parts sector, grouped within the Association of Argentine Component Factories (AFAC), are even more insufficient. According to the entity’s latest foreign trade report, in the first half of the year, the trade balance of the sector showed a deficit of 4,061 million US dollars, 31.9% more than that recorded during of the same period in 2021. While exports increased by 8.3% – reaching US$715 million – imports of auto parts increased by 27.8% and reached US$4,775 million during the semester.

After the meetings held with Tombolini and with the Secretary for Industry, Jose Ignacio de Mendigurenwill now be Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade, German Cervantes, which will meet each terminal to analyze their number and assess where they can be adjusted. “Nothing will be free. In the automotive sector, there are a lot of jobs that are generated by the dealerships, which will be affected by the largest stocks, ”they said from another terminal, while adding that the failure to meet commitments with the savings plans will also get worse.

“We reduced imports, and each company had established a pattern of production, export and import”

From Commerce, they confirmed that they were being asked to make an effort but without affecting production or employment, since the objective is to limit the entry of finished cars of greater value. “What we ask is that they have a surplus balance in the remaining four months of the year produce and export more, because they are below the export levels with which they committed themselves at the beginning of the year. Everyone assumed to improve,” sources close to Tombolini said.

The import of finished cars varies between 10,000 and 15,000, depending on the month, and the average value is around 12,000 USD. To these approximately 160 million dollars which the sector needs to pay for the purchase of vehicles abroad, it is necessary to add what is necessary for the importation of parts. Companies are weighing which proposal to approach the government, but they know that just as in August there was not even a single SIMI approval, Commerce will continue to regulate permits in this way. In addition to the complications and restrictions that the BCRA has already imposed on payments for approved purchases.

The reading that businessmen are reading is that the government no longer knows where to turn to balance the numbers and be able to achieve the reserve accumulation target agreed with the IMF – as of September 30, 4,400 million dollars-, since the liquidation of the deposit does not appear and the cost of energy imports remains high. “We don’t see a plan, but they are regulating the entry and exit of dollars on a daily basis and there is a high risk that we will have to stop production if it gets worse and we cannot import supplies” , said an industry source.

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