The increase in rentals in the first quarter when compared with the same period in 2008 indicates that the rental companies have not felt the crisis.
The article in Prensa.com reported statements by companies in the sector where Gloria de Vallarino from Hertz said that although they have experienced an increase in rentals in the first quarter over the same period in 2008, the foreign tourist market decreased by 9%.
Additionally, "For the operations manager of Budget Car & Truck Rental, Ilia M. Miranda, demand has remained healthy despite the crisis, but she acknowledged that ‘we have noticed the trend of returning the vehicle just in time and not extending the rental as is usually the case in long weekend rentals’.”
Although the numbers do not match those of 2007, a record year, in 2011 Nicaraguans are set to spend $112 million on new vehicles.
In 2009, unit sales fell by 50%, in the context of the global economic crisis. Recovery starting in 2010 recovery has now been confirmed in 2011 being spurred on by the growth of the Nicaraguan economy.
The Panamanian conglomerate reported sales of $60.9 million for the first quarter of 2009, 4.8% more than the same period in 2008.
The Poultry Farms and Restaurant divisions were those which reported increases in their sales, not the real estate division.
Reporter Edith Castill Duarte writes in her article for Prensa.com: “Grupo Melo is advancing its plans to go into Colombia in the restaurant industry with its chain Pío Pío, and hopes to formalize the plans by the end of the year. The vice-president of finances, planning and treasury, Eduardo Jaspe, said that the division is operating within budget, and that they are in the process of opening seven new restaurants for the local market in distinct points throughout the city.”
The Panamanian car rental market has been growing, and has enough space for big international franchises as well as local small businesses.
The analysis of the sector by Raul Carrillo on laestrella.com.pa shows that operators continue to be optimistic in 2009, despite the global crisis: "We want to change the perception that we have to be the most expensive car rental in the country, said the manager of Hertz Panama, Gloria Elisa Vallarino. And for that, Hertz has flete of cars that is 90% Nissan and 10% BMW, for the more demanding clients."
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