Panama 2020. Covid 19 effects have been dramatic on vehicles market

Panama car market
The 2020 Nissan Sentra

Panama Autos Industry in 2020 plummeted as soon as COVID-19 hit the country, and still haven’t recovered effectively yet. Full Year sales have been 9.980 (-64%).

Economic Environment

The economy likely remained downbeat in Q3 on lingering domestic Covid-19 restrictions. Activity in the Panama Canal was down in the third quarter, which highlights that weak international trade continued to batter the important transport sector, albeit to a lesser extent when compared to Q2.

Moreover, a raft of domestic indicators paint a similar picture: Fuel sales, cement sales and new car registrations were all down markedly in annual terms in Q3—although again to a lesser extent than in Q2—suggesting depressed domestic travel, construction activity and private consumption, respectively. Similarly, merchandise exports were down sharply in July–August.

In other news, the government lifted some restrictions on 25 October, including reopening beaches and ending the Sunday quarantine. The move came after international travel resumed on 12 October and gender-based mobility restrictions ended in September, and should further support the recovery in Q4.

Market Trend Year to Date

The Panama vehicles market remains heavily influenced by the COVID-19 crisis as cases in the country continue to remain high. Indeed, 2023 sales have been 9.980 (-64%) ù.

Brand-wise, all brands in the leaderboard report double-digit losses except Nissan, losing only 2.9%. Meanwhile, the market leader Toyota maintained  22.9% market share, followed by Hyundai with 18% share.

Medium-Term Market Trend

Pushed by a fast-growing economy, the automotive industry reported a strong growth period during the last decade, with the best ever selling year in 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 2017 a sudden market deceleration with sales declined at 56.563 and the negative pathway was taken during 2018 as well, with total new vehicles sales declined at 50.766 (including 242 HCVs), down 10.3%.

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for the Top 10 Brands

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