Less new vehicles on overloaded streets
For the second year in a row, Panama’s once-booming car sales industry is now facing a new reality as 2018 car sales closed with a decrease of 10.6% compared to 2017.
Between January and December last year, 50,889 new vehicles were sold, that is, 6,016 fewer those sold in the same period of 2017, according to Panama’s Comptroller General.
The figure complies with the forecast of Panama’s Association Distributors of Panama Association, (ADAP), which bet on the sale of 50,000 throughout the year, a number that had not been seen since 2012 when 50,612 were sold
"For the sector, the results registered in 2018 are not surprising. It is a cyclical industry that is responding to several years of continuous growth," said Patricia Vukelja, ADAP executive director. "The drop in car sales does not respond to the prices of vehicles as the supply in Panama is quite broad. There is a diversity of prices and models for all tastes and budgets ".
The decline in car sales also attributed to the economic slowdown, rising unemployment and changes in people's consumption habits. "Consumers are not changing cars as often as they used to," she said. And Despite the different maneuvers implemented by dealers agencies to accelerate zero-kilometer car sales, consumers are in a slowing economy are adjusting priorities in After acquiring a balance. To buy a vehicle, there are continuing expenses, such as financing payments, insurance, the municipal license plate charge, gasoline, and maintenance every 5,000 thousand kilometers or every three months.
In February 2018, for example, the basic revision of an automatic sedan car, of Japanese make, with 10,000 kilometers, required an average of $217. Currently, that same maintenance cost is $224
SUV vehicles displaced the sedan model as the market leader with sales totaling 18,501.
For this year, ADAP expects the downward trend in sales to be similar to 2018, as the new reality sets in for the automotive sector.