Vehicle Fleet Increased in 2020: How to Explain?

Restrictions on mobilization due to the number of plates, the fear of using public transportation and the increase in demand for delivery services explain the 8% growth that Guatemala's vehicle fleet experienced between 2019 and 2020.

Monday, January 18, 2021

As a result of the outbreak of covid-19, during the second quarter of 2020, Guatemalan authorities decided to suspend ground passenger transportation and also imposed restrictions on the mobility of vehicles with private plates, which were applied based on their license plate number.

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The restrictions forced people to look for transportation options. Part of the population chose to buy private vehicles so as not to depend on public transportation and thus avoid getting caught up in other collective travel options, and another group bought cars with license plates that allowed them to drive every day of the week.

These phenomena increased the number of registered vehicles in the country, even when the local economy was plunged into a deep crisis, due to the fact that the productive activity was considerably affected by the quarantine decreed.

See "Vehicle Maintenance: Potential Market and Trends" and "Vehicles: Sales Potential by Brand".

Data from the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) show that at the end of 2020, 4.11 million vehicles were registered nationally, 8% more than the 3.79 million reported at the end of 2019.

Regarding the fiscal domicile of automobiles, it is estimated that one out of every two units are registered in the central region, which is comprised of the departments of Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango and El Progreso.

In this context of new commercial reality, motorcycle sales increased.

Cesar Amezquita, general manager of the Association of Motorcycle Importers (Asim), explained to Prensalibre.com that, in 2020, "... new plates were issued for 242 thousand motorcycle units (including new and used). The commercialization of motorcycles had an increase between 15 to 20% in 2020, and the union members, reporting 228 thousand new units."

Also see "Motorcycles: What Brands Are Consumers Thinking About?"

When the pandemic began, there was a contraction in sales, but then there was a rebound, closing with more than projected, said Amezquita.

According to the Asim director, the "... mobilization restrictions due to the number of plates, the fear of traveling on public transport and getting infected, and the dynamics of more home deliveries in various productive activities, motivated people to acquire a unit. In addition, many people became unemployed and opted for self-employment in home deliveries and services to businesses or households."

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After 198,000 motorcycles were sold in the country in 2019, local businessmen forecast that during 2020 the number of units sold could increase between 12% and 17%.

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Vehicle Fleet: Motorcycles Gaining Market

August 2019

In recent years, the number of motorcycles in Guatemala has increased by 13%, from 1.33 million units registered in July 2017 to 1.5 million reported in the same month in 2019.

According to data from the Tax Registry of Vehicles of the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT), up to July 2019 the country's active vehicle fleet registered 3.76 million units, of which 40% corresponded to motorcycle type vehicles.

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Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "According to statistics from the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT), dealers imported 59,449 motorcycles during the first half of this year.

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