The month of January ended on a negative note for Puerto Rico’s automotive industry, which reported a year-over-year drop in new vehicle sales of -18.5%.
The United Automobile Importers Group reported that 6,664 new cars were sold last month, down from the 8,172 sold during January 2019.
One of the segments that suffered a significant impact for the month were vans with a decrease of 71.1%, followed by the sport vehicle segment with 52%, and the compact sedans segment with a decrease of 35.8% over the year previous, according to the trade group known as GUIA in Spanish.
“It’s clear that the effects of the earthquake early last month and it’s aftershocks also negatively impacted car sales results,” said Ricardo M. García, president of GUIA.
“No one in the industry has been oblivious to the economic effect that these natural phenomena had on the island, but mainly on all of us who have dealerships in the south and west area, uncertainty and instability created a disruption in operations and especially fear in the staff,” he said.
“However, we know that our people are strong, resilient and above all hopeful in a speedy recovery. Therefore, we urge the support of government entities to continue requesting the funds allocated to Puerto Rico until the recovery is reached,” García said.
GUIA is an independent, nonprofit organization that was created in 2006 to address issues directly related to the automotive industry, as well as issues related to Puerto Rico’s general economy.
The members of GUIA represent 23 car brands and more than 96% of the total sales of new vehicles in Puerto Rico.