Puerto Rico new car sales dropped sharply year-over-year in October, when the industry sold 10 percent fewer units, the United Automobile Importers Group (known as GUIA by its Spanish acronym), said Thursday.
For the month, automakers that belong to the group sold 6,576 units on the island, or 728 less than those rolled off the lots in October 2015. The cumulative change in retail sales for the current year versus 2015 is 2.4 percent, GUIA said.
“There were marked losses this month. Seeing the close of October 2016, and compared to this same month last year, we observed that the deceleration was -10 percent,” said Ricardo M. García, president of the trade organization.
“Losses that have predominated in recent years are materializing again,” he said. “It is imperative and fundamental for our industry that we work hand-in-hand with the government, in search of a recovery for this important economic sector.”
During the month of October, most brands kept their numbers in the black, with just General Motors, Ford and Lexus reporting sales drops of 8.6 percent, 8.3 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, year-over-year.
Some of the best-peforming brands were Toyota, with a 23.5 percent year-over-year increase, Honda, with an 18.5 percent improvement, Hyundai, with a 61.5 percent growth, and BMW, with a 59.5 percent increase, GUIA’s numbers show.
When broken down by segment, the data shows that car buyers sought out mini-compact and compact SUV vehicles the most last month.
GUIA is an independent, nonprofit organization, created in 2006 to address issues that are directly related to the automotive industry, and the general economy of Puerto Rico. GUIA members represent more than 96 percent of new vehicle sales in Puerto Rico.