In February 2009, 1,156 new cars were imported, a drop of 61.5% when compared to the 2,927 new cars imported in February 2008.
With regard to used vehicle imports, the decrease during the same period was 31.5% because 5,613 units were imported in February 2009 and there were 8,200 during the same period in 2008.
Nelson Escalante, a spokesman for the Used Vehicle Importers Union, told El Periódico of Guatemala, "The economic situation is tough and people are no longer saving to buy a car." He also indicated that if "the Congress of the Republic approves the establishment of the First Registration of Vehicles Tax (Iprima) to replace the current import tariff and surcharge with a rate of 26% on the estimated value of the vehicle, sales could drop between 50% and 60%, leaving about 150 thousand people out of business."
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