He Fiat Cronos It is the best-selling car in Argentina since 2021. Manufactured in Córdoba since 2018 after an investment of 500 million dollars, this model of the so-called segment B It is also at the top of this year’s best-seller list, although patents in 2024 they come from the doldrums as is the case with most models.

In the case of Cronos, in the first four months it accumulated 11,829 units sold against 19,071 in the same period of the previous year (a drop of 38%), despite which it continues to be the best-selling model to date, with the Peugeot 208 manufactured in El Palomar a couple of steps below (9,907 units sold in four months).

These two models, both belonging to the automotive company Stellantishave their production already stopped or one step away from this happening, due to the floods that affect the southern part of Brazil.

The climate catastrophe in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, with a provisional death toll of 147 only as of this Monday, left the enormous industrial cordon of Porto Alegrethe state capital, where there are automotive and auto parts manufacturers that supply local terminals.

The Fiat plant in the Cordoba town of Ferreyra was the first, among local factories, to feel the impact: stopped production on Monday the 5th and is about to complete two weeks of inactivitywith no prospect of an immediate restart.

The Fiat factory in Córdoba. The Fiat factory in Córdoba.

The Córdoba factory had already had a cessation of activities during the last days of April to “adjust” its production to the drop in sales at the dealerships. This temporary closure, which the company stressed was already scheduled, coincided with Minister Luis Caputo’s announcement of tax and tariff reductions for the entire automotive sector.

“That technical stop was to adjust the production rate to a lower level of sales, but it was already done and the factory was already working at the new pace. What happened now was unforeseen,” Fiat sources added.

The other Stellantis factory in the country is the Peugeot in the Buenos Aires town of El Palomar, which until this week managed to maintain its activity despite the fact that versions of a temporary closure had also circulated among the workers at the beginning of this month. That streak would end next week. “Next week we will stop one day and we don’t know for how long,” they said at the plant where the 208 comes from and where the launch of production of the new one is also being prepared. Peugeot 2008 for the second semester.

The Peugeot factory in El Palomar. The Peugeot factory in El Palomar.

Brazil’s climate phenomenon is closely followed by at least two other automakers. One is toyota, which supplies itself from two suppliers in Porto Alegre, as confirmed days ago by its president, Gustavo Salinas. This week the Zárate plant that produces the pickup hilux and the SW4 It operated at its usual pace (which in itself is already lower than in 2023, with a projection of a 10% drop in annual production) and company spokespersons said that they continue to “closely” monitor what is happening in the neighboring country.

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The other affected automaker is General Motorsbut in this case from its commercial area, since in a town neighboring Porto Alegre (Gravataí) the Chevrolet Onix, a model that was just being sold again in the country after the almost total cut of imports of Brazilian units since March of last year. The re-entry of this model, which was in second or third place in the sales ranking between 2022 and 2023, for now was very gradual, with only 1,274 units sold in the first four months of the year.

In Argentina, the American automaker has a factory in the town of Alvear, on the outskirts of Rosario, which had successive plant stoppages throughout the summer due to a lack of parts due to the exchange rate. However, since the beginning of May it has been working at a normal pace, without impact from the climate tragedy in Brazil. “We are without complications, for the moment,” they said from the plant where the model is produced. Tracker, today the sixth best-selling model so far this year.

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