Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

May 2009: Bumpy Ride for Auto Dealers

New auto dealers face challenges in Puerto Rico

Auto retail sales during the past ten years have closely followed prevailing financial conditions and the economy’s cycle. During the first half of the decade, credit conditions were relaxed, the PR economy and new auto sales expanded, reaching a record 140,401 units in 2005. Since then, the economy began to, first, decelerate and, then, contract since mid 2006. With the onset of the US financial crisis, credit conditions grew progressively tighter. Consumers became increasingly aware of risk, a gloomy job outlook, and the car market began its downward trend. Four years after posting record sales, the market forecast is half its sales in 2005. Find out what happened and what auto dealers are facing.