In South America, Brazil is the leading vehicle producer in the region. In 2012, Brazil produced a total of 3.3 million vehicles and ranked as the seventh largest vehicle producer in the world, behind China, USA, Japan, Germany, South Korea and India. Production has so far been primarily driven by strong domestic demand. However, as neighbouring countries in the region, especially Mercosur member nations continue to develop, exports of vehicles and automotive parts will increasingly become an important driver for growth for the Brazilian automotive industry. The plethora of new investment commitments by international carmakers in Brazil, partially driven by the government's stimulus programme, also indicates the importance investors are placing on both the domestic market and regional markets. However, the Brazilian government will have to carefully balance protectionism with liberalism to enable the automotive industry to grow successfully and sustainably.
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