Auto

Auto sales drop 11.3% in Dec. ’13 in Puerto Rico, USVI

Auto sales in Puerto Rico and the USVI slumped in December 2013. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) Auto sales in Puerto Rico and the USVI slumped in December 2013. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Car sales dropped 11.3 percent in Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands during December 2013 when 11,024 were sold, which represents 1,408 units less than those sold the same month in 2012, the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish), announced Tuesday. It is the lowest figure for December since 2009, when 10,113 units were sold.

This announcement follows the trade group’s more optimistic numbers for the month of November 2013, which showed a 3.7 percent increase when compared to the same month in 2012.

Overall auto sales for the Puerto Rico and USVI markets in 2013 show a total of 102,489 units were sold, representing a decrease of 61 units compared to 102,550 units sold in 2012.

“In the case of demand for vehicles Puerto Rico, at the end of 2013 a volume of 100,407 units was recorded versus 100, 790 units recorded in 2012, representing a decrease of 383 units. With this figure, we see a disturbing change in sales for the past three years  during which the local automotive industry in had experienced a growth pattern . Now for the first time since 2010, annual sales of new units close below the previous year,” said José Ordeix , president of GUIA . As for sales projections for 2014, Ordeix said that due to the market’s recent behavior, the trade group is re-evaluating its numbers.

GUIA is an independent nonprofit, created in 2006 to address issues that directly concern the automotive industry and Puerto Rico’s overall economy. GUIA members represent more than 96 percent of new vehicle sales in Puerto Rico.

When broken down, the big three American automakers — Chrysler, General Motors and Ford — suffered year-over-year losses averaging a combined 18.4 percent. The same results prevailed even for market frontrunner Toyota, which saw sales drop both for the month and the year as a whole.

Acura sales up 27%, leads local luxury auto sales segment
Acura closed 2013 by selling 1,081 units, which represent a 27 percent increase over the same period in 2012. As a whole, the luxury auto segment sold 5,101 units in 2013 giving Acura a 21 percent share of the market, which signals an increase of 2.12 percent when compared to 2012. December was the best-selling month with the sale of 144 units. The Acura RDX was the brand’s top selling luxury model with 372 units sold last year.

“These results are of great significance since Puerto Rico is the only market in the world where Acura ranks first in sales in the luxury car segment. Acura is known for intelligently integrating bold design and style with the best auto engineering and smart technology and our job has been to stress these advantages and value that the brand offers”, Carlos López-Lay, president of Bella Group, exclusive distributors of Acura in Puerto Rico, pointed out. He added that “we are very grateful for the support from our clients and this without a doubt is a great motivation for all of us to maintain Acura as leader among luxury auto brands in the local market”.

Acura de San Juan is currently remodeling its dealership facilities located on Kennedy Avenue to be inaugurated in the coming months.

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