«Transportation in Natal
Brazilian car industry is still way behind America and Europe.
Until about ten years ago, there were only a few car makers in Brazil (GM, VW, Ford and Fiat; VW and Ford even joined to create a new holding, Autolatina, which of course didn't exist anywhere else in the world), and importing vehicles was a very restricted business. So, car makers were accostumed to profit by selling the outdated models which were not sold elsewhere, and Brazilian car consumers were accostumed to buy whatever rubish was available.
Today, the situation is different. The market is open for importation, and several companies have opened factories in Brazil (Renault, Peugeot, Mercedez-Benz, Honda and others), but Brazilian cars still suck.
Two main reasons explain the low standards of Brazilian cars: first, consumers are still used to the years of closed marked (and the consequent lack of choices); second, and more important, the low income levels of most Brazilians (which, against the forecast of the car makers, hasn't improved much) has obliged the companies to produce more and more economic (cheap) models.
Accessories commonly found in American and European cars are considered optional, or even luxurious, items in Brazil. Sound system, air conditioner and hydraulic steering are optionals you can get easily, as long as you pay the extra $$$. If you want air bags, ABS breaks, enviroment friendly parts (catalyzers, low emission motors), you will have to try to get the so called 'luxurious' cars.
For example, take a look at the
Avis fleet. Being one of the biggest car rentals in the world, we can assume they have a comprehensive line up.
First thing you should pay attention to is the motor power. The Brazilian government gives tax incentives to cars under 1,000 cc motors and, because of this, the vast majority of cars running in Brazil fits into that category. This kind of car has between 60 and 70 HP, which are good enough to drive around the urban areas, but you will certainly notice the lack of power when trying to drive over a truck in one of the miss kept Brazilian roads.
Back to Avis: their Group A offers basic cars without Air Conditioner; whenever you see 'Prices Starting From', it's these cars they are talking about, and the announced price probably won't include insurance.
Group B is Group A with air conditioner; Group C is Group B with a bigger luggage compartment.
Group D is Group B with more thrust; Group E is Group C with more thrust.
In Group F the family cars begin to appear.
Group G is what Avis calls Full Size cars, and this is where, for example, a Corolla or a Civic would appear.
Group H is called Premium; the best Brazilian cars are here. Prices can reach US$100 per day, if you buy full insurance coverage.
Insurance is not included in the announced prices. Take a look at the
Avis' insurance prices
and notice that it can increase considerably the cost of the rental, especially of the cheaper models.
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