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Puerto Rico’s new car sales remain virtually flat in March

The first quarter of 2024 recorded total sales of 29,336 units.

March saw a 1.21% drop in new car sales in Puerto Rico, with 10,602 units rolling off the lots, remaining virtually flat when compared to the 10,732 vehicles sold last year, the United Automobile Importers Group (GUIA, in Spanish) revealed.

The first quarter of 2024 reached accrued sales of 29,336 units, reflecting a slight decrease of 0.71% versus the 29,546 units sold in the same period of 2023.

Retail sales during the same quarter saw a drop of 5.01%, with 27,805 units sold in 2024 versus 26,477 in 2023. Conversely, fleet sales rose by 64.21%, with sales of 2,859 units in 2024 against the 1,741 units in 2023.

“Fleet sales have offset the decline in retail sales during the first quarter. Retail sales reflect a contraction because of the erosion of consumer purchasing power in some segments and the high prevailing interest rates,” said José R. Ordeix, president of GUIA.

The most popular segment was Compact SUVs, with 3,552 vehicles sold this year, though this represents a 2.55% drop compared to the 3,645 units sold in the first quarter in 2023. The subcompact SUV category follows, with accrued sales of 1,712 units in the first quarter ended in March, a 2.95% increase from the 1,663 units sold in the same year-ago period, according to GUIA’s numbers.

Vehicles from Japanese brands, including Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi and others, constituted the highest-selling segment for the quarter, with 5,278 vehicles sold.

GUIA is an independent, nonprofit organization that was established in 2006 to address issues that concern the automotive industry and economic issues affecting Puerto Rico.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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