Puerto Rico auto sales hold steady through 1st half of ’13
Car sales in Puerto Rico have shown no significant change from month to month so far this year, as figures for the first seven months of the year have not changed significantly from one month to the next, the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish) said.
The first three months of the year, from January to March, were “promising” with more than 8,000 vehicles rolling off lots every month. However, the tide turned in April and May, when sales fell below that mark both times.
“June took off with more than 9,000 units sold, largely due to the delivery of fleet units. July sales, however, reflected a drop to 8,110 units,” said José Ordeix, president of GUIA.
The percentage of cumulative change in the industry during the January-July period, when compared to the same period in 2012, reflects a slight growth of 1.9 percent, when comparing the 57,649 units sold in the first half of this year, with the 56,571 units sold on the island during the same period last year.
“Retail sales are the greatest source [of activity] for the local market, with 89.4 percent of demand, but a pattern continues reflecting low positive variation in this line of just 1.8 percent, so any slight changes in economic conditions during the remaining months of the year, could lead to a dislocation in the inconsistent growth rate experienced by the market,” he added.
Data released by GUIA shows that Toyota was Puerto Rico’s highest-selling brand in July, with 1,997 vehicles rolling off the lots, followed by Kia, with 980 units sold, and Nissan, with 902 cars sold. Ford, which has historically held on to second place when it comes to Puerto Rico car sales, came in fourth in July, moving 727 units.
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.