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GUIA reports 36% YoY new car sales growth in ’21, highest jump in 16 yrs.

New car sales in Puerto Rico hit a record figure last year, when 129,145 vehicles were sold, representing a 36% jump when compared to 2020, and the highest growth since 2005, when 140,400 units were sold, the United Automobile Importers Group (GUIA, in Spanish) announced.

Last year’s industry growth happened despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade group officials said.

The report presented by GUIA shows that 95,020 units were sold in 2020. The 2021 results reflected its best sales peaks in March, April, and May with 35,197 vs 6,085 from the year prior.

The United Automobile Importers Group (GUIA, in Spanish) President José Ordeix said based on estimates performed by the Intelligent Economics research firm, new car sales in 2022 could reach 111,000 units, or a 14% drop.

“Among the factors that were considered for this projection is a decrease in allocated federal funds, inventory limitation due to the lack of semiconductors, several problems in the supply chain that affect the industry, possible increases in interest rates, and inflationary increase,” he said.

As for the general car trends in Puerto Rico for 2021, the report showed a 25.6% preference in passenger vehicles, 58.4% in SUVs and 16% in CL/LCV cars.

Fleet sales represented 5% of last year’s total sales with some 6,457 units, which represented a decrease of 18.3% during 2020. The firm predicted that this year, fleet sales will increase to an approximate of 10,828 units.

While retail sales represented 95% of the total sale with 122,688 units, reflecting an increase of 40.8%, it is predicted that for 2022, these sales will decrease to an approximate of 99,879 units to be sold, according to a Predictions Report presented by the Intelligent Economics research firm.

“The government is still examining how possible changes to inventory taxes can impact auto sales, without having to affect the present numbers,” said Economist Gustavo Vélez, from Intelligent Economics.

The firm indicated that Puerto Rico auto dealers will be affected due to the lack of inventory in the first quarter of 2022 and that it is expected for global light vehicle sales to grow a 3.75% from 2021.

As for things to look forward to in 2022 is the expansion of the Supplemental Social Income by $2.3 billion annually and the assignment of $2 billion for the island in additional funds from the Infrastructure Bill, the firm noted.

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit that will provide hundreds of thousands of families with new income, in addition to the final amounts of money to be assigned to the CDBG reconstruction programs after Hurricane María that Congress is set to disburse are added to that list.

Author Details
Author Details
Yamilet Aponte-Claudio was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Providencia and is currently a sophomore at Sacred Heart University. Majoring in Journalism and adding a minor in accounting and foreign languages, she aspires to study law after obtaining her bachelor’s degree.
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