Puerto Rico’s auto sales continue to take a beating this year, with 9.3 percent fewer units leaving dealerships in February, when 7,166 cars were signed away to their new owners. The most recent activity is 7.6 percent lower in comparison to the same month last year, data released by the United Group of Automobile Importers Tuesday.
The monthly report issued by GUIA, as the trade group is known for its initials in Spanish, shows that most major brands sold fewer units in February, with the exception of Mazda, Chrysler, Toyota, Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus.
While Toyota held on tightly to its number ranking in the market, with a 29.1 percent share, Hyundai settled into second place with 10.2 percent, followed by Nissan, with 9.9 percent. Mitsubishi and Chrysler rounded out the top five, with 8.9 percent and 8.7 percent share, respectively.
“We thank local consumers for these two months of great sales and for their trust in our Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM and Fiat brands products,” said Ricardo García, general manager of the Chrysler group in Puerto Rico.
Vehicles that drew most demand last month were the RAM 1500, the Jeep Wrangler, the Dodge Journey and the Chrysler 200, he said.
When looking at the combined results for the Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands market, the numbers are also in the red, with a 9 percent drop in sales in February, and an 8.3 percent reduction in year-over-year sales. A total of 7,296 cars were sold on both islands last month, the GUIA report shows.
Earlier this year, GUIA predicted a stable 2014 for auto sales in Puerto Rico and the USVI, after wrapping 2013 with virtually flat results.