Brazilian middle class likely consumers of car armor, Temple profs explain

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Philadelphia Inquirer

DuPont Co. is boosting sales its 200-pound bulletproof car kit which adds about $12,000 to the price of a car, to middle-class Brazilian families. "The upper middle class" in Brazil "has lived through several cycles of kidnapping and carjacking….Since they mistrust the police, bulletproofing cars has become a popular option," said Temple historian Philip Evanson. Of course, that's also so in other countries. But "given the extensive consumer experience with using armor in Brazil and its association with the wealthy, the middle-class there is more likely" to buy it "to make a statement," said Ram Mudambi, a professor at Temple's Fox School of Business. In fact, street violence against drivers seems "much more" common in São Paolo, Brazil's largest city, than in Mexico or elsewhere, added Fox professor Masaaki Kotabe.