Puerto Rico’s new car dealers saw 10.9% drop in sales in ’20
New car sales reflected a 10.9% drop in 2020, when 95,019 units were sold, in comparison to 106,624 sold in 2019, according to the latest report by the United Automobile Importers Group.
During a presentation, the trade group known as GUIA in Spanish, said fleet sales represented 8.4% of total sales with 7,976 units. That segment showed the greatest drop in sales, -37.6% in comparison to 2019.
Other segments most affected by the drop in sales for the year were mini-compact sedans with -30.7%, followed by compact sedans with -24.1% and finally, by sub-compact sedans with a decrease of 22.7%
The organization projected that this year, new car sales will increase to 104,000 units, which would be a 9.5% growth. Federal incentives, low interest rates and a lower effect by the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy due to the distribution of the vaccine, should improve conditions, GUIA President Ricardo García said.
“The truth is that we’re surprised with the 2020 results because we thought that when we closed our sales operations for 10 weeks due to the pandemic, the impact would be much worse,” he said.
“These results were achieved in nine-and-a-half months. It’s true that it was a double-digit reduction, but since June and due to the influx of federal funds to the island, the aggressiveness of the dealers and distributors, and the support of banks in financing new car sales, we’ve been improving upon the results of the same month of the previous year for seven consecutive months,” García said.
In December, the sector sold 13,983 units, a result they had not seen for 15 years, he said.
“So, we see how that momentum could continue into 2021. We’ve learned from the great challenges of this year and we’ve adapted, always thinking about how to take care of our employees and customers,” García said.