Puerto Rico car sales were down 0.9 percent in October, when 8,102 vehicles rolled off local lots, compared to 8,176 sold in October 2012. And while the island is said to be in an unending recession, the biggest sellers last month were European vehicles — Mercedes, BMW, Fiat and Porsches.
Despite the slight dip, numbers provided by the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA for its initials in Spanish), also show that cumulative sales through October are 1.2 percent higher this year versus the same nine-month period in 2012.
While U.S. and Japanese-made cars showed a decline in sales, Korean and European models sold better last month when compared to October 2012. During the month, Suzuki, Nissan and Scion took the biggest hits, while Mitsubishi outsold its competitors.
The report also confirmed that despite the prevailing negative economic panorama, Puerto Rico dealers sold 105 Mercedes, 93 BMWs, 57 Volkswagen models and 34 Fiats. Twenty-three Porsches were also sold last month.
When looking at the combined numbers for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the report showed an almost flat performance, with a 0.3 percent growth for the month of October, versus the same month in 2012.
Cumulatively, total industry sales in both markets are up 1.4 percent, with 82,281 vehicles sold so far through October.
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.