Car sales dropped by 2.4 percent in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in June, when 9,388 units rolled off the lots — or 234 fewer than those sold the same month last year, the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish), announced Wednesday.
June marked the second consecutive month to show a drop in demand, considering that there was a 4.9 percent reduction in May, or 408 fewer units sold in comparison to May 2012.
“The percentage of cumulative change in the industry during the January-June 2013 period, versus the same period in 2012 reflects a slight growth of 1.9 percent, when comparing the 49,540 units sold in the first half of the year with the 48,603 units sold in the same period last year,” said GUIA President José Ordeix.
The trend during the summer months has been that car rental companies usually renew their fleets during the months of May and June to meet local and tourist demand. However, last month saw 1,952 units sold under the fleet category, versus 2,187 units sold in June 2012.
“This represents a decline of 235 units in fleet sales, reflecting negative growth of -10.7 percent. By observing this declining trend reflected during two consecutive months, we believe market behavior is erratic, so it makes it statistically difficult to project an estimate for the end of the year,” Ordeix said.
“An important factor in this trend may be the economic uncertainty experienced recently in all sectors,” he noted.
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.