QUITO, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese vehicles lead the automobile market in Ecuador as consumers are increasingly drawn to their design, sticker price and innovative features.
The sales of Chinese vehicles have seen "unusual growth in a small market like Ecuador's and "the trend is going to continue to grow," Executive Director of the Chamber of the Automotive Industry of Ecuador (Cinae) David Molina told Xinhua.
Between January and June of this year, 24,463 Chinese-made vehicles were sold, accounting for 39 percent of the total sales in the Ecuadorian market, a Cinae report provided to Xinhua on Tuesday showed.
The sales of Chinese-made vehicles grew 10 percent compared to the same period last year. In June of this year alone, 4,104 Chinese vehicles were sold in the country, occupying a 39.7-percent share of the Ecuadorian market.
Automobiles, vans, SUVs and trucks of more than 40 Chinese brands are estimated to be sold in Ecuador.
As Chinese auto sales grow, so do their points of sale in Ecuador, with local dealerships involved in the assembly, distribution and sale of a wide variety of Chinese vehicles.
One of them is Ambacar, which for 12 years has been involved in the sale of Chinese sedans, SUVs and pickups by brands such as Great Wall, SWM, Soueast and DFSK, as well as utility and multipurpose vehicles by Shineray.
Esteban Salazar, head of the Ambacar dealership on Granados Avenue in the northern part of the capital Quito, told Xinhua that Chinese vehicle sales have been "overwhelming."
Consumers are attracted by the vehicles' price and added value, such as comfort and safety features, he said.
Ambacar, which accounts for more than 10 percent of local market share with average monthly sales of 900 vehicles, has an assembly plant in the central city of Ambato, and has expanded to Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru.
"The best thing is to try our Chinese cars, to come see their high-quality parts and performance, (with) smaller 1,500-cubic-centimeter engines that are turbocharged, so they consume less fuel," said Salazar.
Monica Nunez, owner of a Haval M4 mini SUV, described herself as a "very satisfied" customer, saying the vehicle was well-equipped and fuel efficient.
"What surprised me most was the engine and auto parts, the spare parts are quite economical, so it was the kind of car I really wanted," said Nunez.
"China has produced very good vehicles, and it did it with precision, keeping in mind the cost and the technology of the bodywork, which offers a lot of safety," she added.
Systems engineer Mario Giler, who drives a Great Wall truck, said that buying a Chinese vehicle turned out to be an "excellent idea and a great benefit."
"It is my first vehicle ... It is truly a very good option given the quality of the product. Its structure is that of a luxury car with an accessible price for everyone," said Giler.
Increasingly more Chinese cars are circulating on Ecuador's roads, gaining a fan base and contributing to the economic recovery of the automotive sector following two years of flagging growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ■