Panama vehicles sales reported in the 2018 the second consecutive decline with total vehicles sales at 50.766 (including 242 HCVs), down 10.3%. Toyota kept the crown, with market share stable just over the 20% while Nissan boomed taking the third place, between Hyundai – second – and Kia -third -.
Panamanian economy continued to recover in the fourth quarter of the 2018, gaining steam thanks largely to a ramp-up of activity in the construction sector, but nevertheless bringing to a close an overall subdued annual performance in 2018.
Growth is set to regain momentum this year on the back of rapidly rising output at the Cobre Panama mine and strong infrastructure spending, as set out in the 2019 budget. An intensifying global growth slowdown and trade protectionism, however, remain the main downside risks to the country’s crucial shipping and trade sectors.
Pushed by fast growing economy, the automotive industry reported a strong growing period during the last decade, with the best ever selling year in the 2016, when sales hit the record of 63.500 units.
The introduction of higher duties required by the Autoridad de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre (ATTT) to register vehicles (new and old) into the Registro Único Vehicular, effective from January 2017, and a slower economic trend, caused in the 2017 a sudden market deceleration with sales declined at 56.563 and the negative pathway was taken during the 2018 as well, with total new vehicles sales declined at 50.766 (including 242 HCVs), down 10.3%
At brand-wise, the 2018 market leader was again Toyota with market share stable just over the 20%.
The top followers are the Koreans, with Hyundai declined at 15.3%, the lowest share in the last decade and Kia at 12.8%. The 2018 surprise was the Nissan exploit, advancing in third place, just ahead of Kia, with share surged at 12.2%
After hitting the All-time record in 2016, the Panamanian market has pushed the breaks, embarking on a negative path. Indeed, the market is seen to be quite uncertain during the 2019-2025 period of time.
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