SANTIAGO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Sales of new cars in Chile are forecast to slump around 16 percent in 2016 as confidence and growth remain subdued in the top copper exporter, national auto association ANAC said on Wednesday.
After falling a little over 16 percent in 2015 to 282,232 units, sales of cars are seen sliding further this year to about 235,000 units, ANAC said in its annual report.
ANAC said that the car market was struggling due to low consumer confidence and a depreciation of the peso currency versus the U.S. dollar, which has driven up the cost of imported goods.
Chile’s economy was held back in 2015 by tumbling prices for copper, natural disasters and far-reaching political scandals.
In December, the central bank cut the country’s economic growth forecast to between 2 and 3 percent for 2016.
The top-selling car brands in Chile are GM’s Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Kia. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)