Auto

Puerto Rico auto sales plummet by 20.1% in Aug.

Puerto Rico auto sales continued descending in August. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) Puerto Rico auto sales continued descending in August. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico’s auto industry skid into its seventh month of sales losses in August, when activity was down 20.1 percent in comparison to the same month last year.

Numbers released Thursday by the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish), an organization that represents the Puerto Rico automotive industry, showed that 7,021 units were sold in August, or 1,768 less than August 2013.

August is the second consecutive month during which the sector has contracted by more than 20 percent, after recording a similar result in July. The pattern of deceleration experienced by the auto industry on the island has grown worse when accounting for the decrease of 18.9 percent the sector has endured over the last three months (June-August) versus the same period in 2013.

The accumulated demand in Puerto Rico for the January to August 2014 period was limited to 58,091 units, reflecting a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to last year, representing a cumulative decline in sales of 7,413 units.

“”The auto industry continues to resist the onslaught of the current economy, but we’re getting closer and closer to the record level reached during the global financial crisis in 2009, when sales reached just 76,477 units,” said José Ordeix, president of GUIA.

“Puerto Rico is a market that has traditionally generated, and can generate an annual sales volume of 100,000 units, but at this time, we are definitely operating in an environment of great challenges,” he added.

The expectations for the remainder of the year are a strong contraction in demand, he said.

“At best we could expect closing 2014 with total sales of 85,000 units, a significant drop compared to the past four years. However, if the pattern of sales observed in the last quarter continues, sales volume projected for 2015 could be even lower,” he said.

“There is definitely a need to work with on solutions the government and prevent a further pattern of degradation of this important economic sector,” Ordeix noted.

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