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New auto sales increase in 2023

Intelligent Economics > Analysis > New auto sales increase in 2023

In the month of December 2023, a total of 11,538 new car units were sold in Puerto
Rico, showing a decrease of about 3.95% from the 11,802 vehicles sold in December
2022 according to data from the United Group of Automobile Importers (GUIA, for its
Spanish acronym). When comparing the YTD of 2022 and 2023, there’s been an
increase of 3.92% on all car sales.

December 2023 had the biggest number of sales of the year as well as Q4 had the most
sales in the year with 33,558 sales in total. Notably, there was an increase of 3.72%
when compared to November’s 2023 11,124 total sales. The most popular models sold
in December 2023 were, in order Venue, Corolla, RAV4, Tucson and Kia Seltos. The
models mentioned are renowned models of Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia, which signals the
dominance Japanese and Korean cars have on the market. This contrasts with
December 2022, when the leading models were the Accent, Corolla, RAV4, Tacoma,
and Corolla Cross. As the end of 2023 ends in this month, it’s clear the market being
heavily dominated by Japanese and Korean cars, specifically Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.
Consumers on the island have steadily bought these cars known for reliability and price
accessibility, with 2022 having the same brands on the top 5 spots.

The auto industry in Puerto Rico has been navigating through various challenges,
including supply chain issues, and changing consumer trends, but in part thanks to
inflation lowering and wages rising on the island as well as consumers starting to spend
more and supply chain beginning to keep up to the demand, car sales are starting to
return to levels seen in 2021. Although interest rates still remain high, the government
hasn’t raised them since July 2023, it should be a clear indicator of a possible reduction
in interest rates in the coming months.

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