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New-Auto Sales Jump 9.7% in November, up 3.1% for the Year

By on December 17, 2016

Propelled by a surge in fleet purchases, new-auto sales were up in November, raising the industry’s hope to finish the year in the upswing, with one more month to finish 2016, the United Automobile Importers Group (GUIA by its Spanish acronym) said Friday.

According to GUIA, some 7,745 new units were sold last month, a 9.7% increase, or 685 additional new units than November 2015. Year to date sales as of last month amounted to 74,308 units, up 3.1%, or 2,234 more units than same period last year.

A car salesman works the telephone while searching through inventory at the certified used car lot at Brandon Ford in Brandon, Fla. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Sales of new cars and trucks rose by double-digit percentages at most major automakers in October, and companies are raising their expectations for the rest of the year. Ford now expects total U.S. sales of 17.4 million this year, just topping the record of 17.35 million from 2001. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

(Chris O’Meara/AP)

Ricardo García, president of GUIA, said the local auto industry has indeed experienced a recovery.

“We expect a slight sales growth for the industry as we head to close 2016, since our sector has registered a recovery. Once gain fleet sales leave their mark in the industry’s performance, representing a 19.3% uptick, or an additional 278 units, versus November of last year,” García commented.

“The industry expects a general economic stability to materialize to continue our sustained growth. We remain very active, searching for attractive solutions for Puerto Rican consumers, so that a new vehicle becomes a reality for them,” he added.

Fleet sales, which had been spearheading an uptick in local new-auto sales in the previous months, jumped 19.32% in November, as retail auto sales gained 7.2%, García indicated.

During November, the 1,720 fleet units sold represented 278 additional units than same month last year, whereas the 6,025 retail units sold last month were a 407-unit increase from November of 2015.  

Year to date as of November, there have been 66,128 retail units sold, up 2.6% or 1,703 units from same period last year, and 8,180 fleet units sold, up 6.9% or 531 more units from same period in 2015, the GUIA report indicates.

Japanese brands up 13.1%

Japanese automakers, the dominant group in the local market, reported 4,129 total units sold in November, a 13.1% or 478-unit increase from same month last year, with a 53.3% share of the market. Top Japanese sellers included Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Infiniti and Lexus.

Domestics up 0.8%

Cumulative sales by domestic automakers FCA Group (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram), General Motors (GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac) and Ford (Ford and Lincoln) in November reached 1,332 units, up 0.8%, or 10 units, from same month in 2015, with a 17.2% overall share of the market.

Of the three domestic automakers, Chrysler and Ford reported positive sales in November versus same month last year. Chrysler sold 762 units, up 5.4% with a 9.8% market share. Ford sold 542 units, up 10.6% with a 7% share of the market.

Koreans up 10.7%

Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia together sold 1,890 units last month, up 10.7% from same month last year, with a combined 24.4% market share. Of the two, only Hyundai posted positive sales versus November of last year, with 1,056 units sold, up 28.9%, and a 13.6% share of the market.

Europeans up 9.7%

European brands sold a combined 394 units during the eleventh month of the year, up 9.7% from November 2015, with a 5.1% share of the market.

As many as six European brands, namely Audi, BMW, Maserati, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo, reported higher sales in November than same month last year.

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