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New car sales skid 3.1% in May, as demand for vehicles drops

New car sales in Puerto Rico reflected a drop in May, when a total of 8,865 units were sold, representing a 3.1% drop in comparison to the 9,152 units sold during the same month last year.

Statistics released by the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish,) also said the decrease in demand so far this year continues to decelerate to 4%, which is about 1,581 more units than 2018.

In addition, so far this year, the segments that lead growth are vans and SUVs with an increase of 28.4% and 16.4%, respectively.

“SUV’s are what have kept the market in positive numbers, with 2,812 more units than 2018,” said Ricardo M. García, president of GUIA. “For the second consecutive month, we had numbers was below those for the same month of the previous year.”

“Unfortunately, we hadn’t had two consecutive months with lower sales since Hurricane María. As an entity representing the automotive industry, we’re concerned that this market behavior is the beginning of a negative pattern,” he said.

“Tens of thousands of people depend on the strength of the business transactions in this sector. We will continue working and presenting initiatives to decision-makers to boost the industry and therefore the island’s economy. We have to be resilient for the benefit of our customers,” García said.

Aside from revealing the latest sales figures, GUIA also continued urging consumers to check if their vehicles are on the recall list for Takata air bags by going to the www.checktoprotect.org website and checking their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN#) or by calling their dealer.

“The airbag replacement is free. We urge you to contact your authorized service workshop and make your appointment, as it can be a matter of life or death. Nothing is more important than your safety,” said García.

GUIA is an independent, nonprofit organization that was created in 2006 to address issues directly related to the automotive industry, as well as issues related to the general economy of Puerto Rico. The members of GUIA represent 23 car brands and more than 96% of the total sales of new vehicles in Puerto Rico.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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