Puerto Rico’s new car sales took a slight hit in 2019, when 106,606 units were sold, representing a 1.2% year-over-year drop when compared to the 107,941 vehicles sold in 2018, the United Automobile Importers Group announced.
GUIA, as the trade group is known by its initials in Spanish, revealed last year’s results as well as this year’s projections during a news conference.
“We’re pleased to have reached 100,000 units for the second consecutive year, exceeding the expectations we had at the beginning of the year. We hadn’t had two consecutive years surpassing that number since 2012-2013,” GUIA President Ricardo García said.
“However, the reality is that there was a decline over 2018 and another is predicted for 2020, so a year full of challenges is what awaits us,” he said.
Fleet sale represented 12% of 2019’s total sales, with some 12,773 units rolling off the lot, which represents an increase of .5% over 2018. The only segment that showed growth in 2019 was that of the SUV’s, which increased in 2019 a 7.5% compared to the previous year.
The segment that suffered a major decrease was that of medium sedans, with a reduction of 46% compared to the previous year, followed by compact sedans with a decrease of 26.8% by the end of 2019, GUIA confirmed.
The organization projects that 2020 new car sales will experience a 1.5% decrease, when 105,000 units are expected to be sold.
Among the factors considered for this projection, according to a study commissioned to the Inteligencia Económica group, the expected population reduction, the impact of earthquakes at the beginning of the year, the release of federal funds allocated for the first quarters of the year, and a slight growth in the economy.