Luxury car sales in Panama fall 37 percent
PANAMA. The lack of financing for car purchases and the decline in international consumption has caused the car industry to be one of t...
PANAMA. The lack of financing for car purchases and the decline in international consumption has caused the car industry to be one of the hardest hit by the current global crisis.
In the midst of this scenario, local car sales have not escaped similar fates, falling after projecting optimism three months ago.
The first victim of the deceleration was luxury cars sales which, according to statistics from the Comptroller’s Office declined during the first trimester of 2009 by 37 percent.
The luxury car market, which started this year on a high, does not fare well if we taken into account that between January and March 2009 209 units were sold, compared to the sale of 391 cars during the same period of 2008.
Among the luxury brands in question are: BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Lexus, Porsche, Hummer, Jaguar, Cadillac and Maserati.
Luxury car sales decreased this year after three years of increased sales. Between January and March 2006, sales increased 8.2 percent. In 2007, the same rose 6.2 percent. Last year, sales spiked by 74.6 percent.
As an example, in the first three months of this year, Mercedes Benz sold 56 cars, while during the same period in 2008 it had sold 83, according to statistics from Panama’s Association of Cars Distributors (ADAP in Spanish).
The local sales manager of Mercedes Benz, Maria de Lourdes Arosemena, explained that in the case of car sales for high purchasing power clients, the fall in demand is not due to a lack of credit but to a reduction in consumption.
“Our clients do not depend on credit to buy a Mercedes Benz, so that is not what is affecting us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the sales manager for Porsche, Ema Arjona, even though she did not dwell on numbers, recognized that sales have been slow so far.
“This year, we foresee a conservative panorama. Despite everything, we have the goal of selling more than 50 cars during the second semester,” she said. Porsche hopes to fight the crisis by strengthening their relationship with their clients, improving their image, and offering better service.