Red Numbers for the Automotive Business

Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua are the Central American markets which reported reductions in sales of new and used vehicles during 2018.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

According to figures from the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica, from January to November 2018 imports of new vehicles totaled 31,008 units, and used vehicles 17,134 units, registering falls of 12% and 23% respectively compared to the first eleven months of 2017.

Review that "... Among the reasons for the slowdown in business are the rise in interest rates and in the dollar price, the currency most used to finance the vehicle purchase".

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Maria Elena Molina, manager of Promotion Purdy Motor Group, explained that "... the decline in the activity of the sector occurred by factors such as the rise in the exchange rate of the dollar and interest rates. It should be noted that we are going through an election year, in which historically there has been a decrease in the consumer purchase intention.

Costa Rica was not the only Central American country recording a decline in vehicle imports, as Panama reports since 2017 an uninterrupted downward trend in the sale of new cars.

Also see "Automotive parts: Market Figures up to March 2018"

According to the most recent figures of the General Comptroller of the Republic of Panama, from January to October 2018, 41,182 new vehicles were registered, 17% less than in the same period of 2017.

Another country recording a bad year in the sale of vehicles was Nicaragua, as the political crisis prevented several customers from paying their loans and were forced to deliver the units.

According to the Nicaraguan Association of Motor Vehicle Distributors (Andiva), the levels of vehicle returns, and contract cancellations ranged between 10% and 15% for the period from January to August 2018.

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More on this topic

No One Wants New Cars in Panama Anymore?

November 2018

Between January and September 2018, in accordance with the behavior reported since last year, 37,078 new vehicles were registered, 13% less than in the same period in 2017.

According to the most recent figures of the General Comptroller, from January to September 2018, 12,938 new automobile type vehicles were registered, 21% less than the 16,299 units registered in the same period of 2017.

Vehicles in Panama: Sales Fail to Rebound

October 2018

During the first eight months of 2018, 33,343 new vehicles were registered, 13% less than in the same period of 2017, according to the behavior reported since last year.

The latest figures from the General Comptroller's Office show that from January to August 2018, 11,767 new car-type vehicles were registered, 20% less than the 14,643 units registered in the same period in 2017.

Auto Market Affected by the Crisis

August 2018

Car dealerships in Nicaragua report that only 200 units were sold in July, well below the 2,000 vehicles sold on average several months ago.

Figures from the Central Bank of Nicaragua show that between January and June of this year $45 million worth quadricycles and sedan-type vehicles were imported, 22% less than in the first semester of last year, when $58 million were imported.

A Lot More New Cars in Nicaragua

February 2016

In 2015 the import of new cars grew by 25%, led by sales of compact cars, and driven by an increase in purchasing power and greater access to credit on the part of Nicaraguans.

Between January and October 2015, Nicaragua imported 14,765 new motor cars, up from 11,860 in the same period in 2014, which represents growth of 25%, according to the Directorate General of Customs (DGA) of Nicaragua.

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