The market for people with disabilities triples and represents the autonomy of millions of Brazilians
June 1, 2017 - Professor Emannuel Santos, from Vitória de Santo Antão, in the Zona da Mata of Pernambuco, uses the car daily to go to work, run errands and have fun with friends. It seems like an ordinary routine for millions of people, but for Santos it has a bigger meaning. As a wheelchair user, until then Santos depended on the help of others to get around, until he bought his adapted Uno. “I got my freedom back along with the vehicle,” he says. “Today, I have my independence to do anything I want. I’ve even traveled by myself,” he says.
Adapted cars are giving autonomy to a whole new segment of people with some type of disability or reduced mobility. Sales of cars for people with disabilities – PCD, the acronym used by the market and the government – simply tripled in the last four years, going from 42 thousand to 139 thousand units per year. Currently, they already represent more than 8% of the total auto market in the country.
In Brazil, although accessibility remains a distant reality in most cities, inclusion has been gaining strength in the automotive world since 1995, when a law exempting purchases by PCD from a series of taxes was put into place. Without such taxes, cars cost about 20% less for such buyers . And as of 2013, this market has had a new set of incentives, as new deficiencies have been added to the list of benefited pathologies (see updated list below).