Puerto Rico’s Auto Industry Concerned After Worst January On Record
SAN JUAN — After closing 2015 with new-auto sales down 7.8%, marking the third straight year of negative sales, Puerto Rico’s auto distributors reported a mere 5,582 new units sold last month—their worst January on record.
According to the United Automobile Importers Group (GUIA by its Spanish acronym) January’s dismal sales were down 12.1%, representing 772 fewer units, from same month in 2015.
For GUIA, January figures reflect a worrisome negative trend worse than the sales slump experienced by the industry for the entire 2015.
“The situation is grave. Until now we had not experienced a January as bad as this one. It represents the 24th month out of the last 26 months that we experience a sales contraction versus same period the year before,” Ricardo García, GUIA president, commented.
For 2016, Rivera said GUIA is forecasting the sale of 77,000 new auto units for 2016, a number similar to the industry’s worst year on record set in 2009, when only 76,477 new units were sold on the island.
The GUIA president pointed out that some 32,000 people work directly or indirectly in the local auto industry, and the group’s concern includes them as well, as island consumers have delayed or postponed their decision to change their existing vehicles for a newer and more efficient one.