Panama 2023. Car Market Gained Again (+16.0%) Pushed By Chinese OEMs Success

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Panama Vehicles Market reported the third gain in a row in 2023. Sales were 48.919 (+16.0%), the 7th highest level ever and not far from the above 50.000 level always achieved between 2013 and 2018.

Economic Environment

According to the World Bank, Panama has the 17th highest GDP per capita in Latin America & Caribbean, at around USD 14,617. However, despite remarkable progress made by the authorities in recent years, income inequality is among the highest in the region and poverty has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially within most vulnerable groups

The economy of Panama is largely dependent on the mining, agriculture, and timber industries. The country has one of the largest copper ore reserves in the world, as well as large reserves of gold, manganese, and iron. Hydropower is also a major natural resource in Panama as it supplies 60% of all electricity in the country. 

Panama’s economy is pegged to the dollar and the service industry is the biggest in the country, accounting for 66% of Panama’s GDP and employing 67.9% of the workforce. Transport is the most important sector of the service industry, as it comprises the Panama Canal – the government’s chief revenue source.

Market Trend Year to Date

The Panama vehicles market was again strong in 2023, reporting the third growth in a row with 48.919 sales (+16.0%), the 7th highest level ever and not far from the above 50.000 level always achieved between 2013 and 2018, before a deep crisis hit the industry.

Brand-wise, the market leader Toyota lost marginally (-2.4%) with the top followers, Hyundai and Kia gained respectively 9.6% and 25.2%.

In fourth place Suzuki lost 1.1% and was followed by Nissan (-3.2%), Mitsubishi (+1.1%) and Honda (-7.5%). 

The winners were the Chinese OEMs, all fast growing but not yet on top of the ranking.