1 Dec 20

Wikifleet updated, Toyota remains Central America leader

In Latin America, we cannot overlook countries that connect the North and South continents, more specifically Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica, all of which have seen updates to their Wikifleet pages this week.

In terms of automobile sales, markets are still down for the most part as the region continues to combat the health and economic crisis impacting much of the globe. In January-September, 13,592 units were sold in Panama (-19.9% year-on-year), a total of 15,086 units in Guatemala (-18.5%), and 18,977 in Costa Rica (-23.6%).

Considering the last month of this period (September), 1,342 units were sold in Panama (-28.8%), a total of 2,193 in Guatemala (+7.5%), and 1,600 in Costa Rica (-40.7%), according to automotive research and data group Focus2Move.

With that said, we can expect full-year sales to certainly be down from last year. In 2019, Panama saw 51,679 units sold (+1.8% year-on-year), Guatemala saw 24,727 units (+2.3%), and Costa Rica reported 34,515 units (-12.7%).

When it comes to brands, Asian automakers lead the pack in Central America, more notably Toyota and Hyundai. In Panama, Toyota leads with a 22.9 percent market share this year, followed by Hyundai with an 18 percent share.

Toyota also leads in Guatemala with a 26.1 percent market share, followed by Kia with 14.6 percent and Hyundai (13.8%). As for Costa Rica, the top three are Toyota (23.2%), Suzuki (12.1%), and Hyundai (11.7%).

2020 Toyota Hilux, best selling vehicle in Panama and top-selling pickup in the region (source: Toyota)

As for a brief economic snapshot in the region, Panama has been facing a deflation of some 2 percent this year while Guatemala and Costa Rica are seeing inflation of approximately 4 percent and 1 percent respectively. Considering benchmark interest rates, Panama started 2020 at 1 percent with Guatemala and Costa Rica at 5 percent apiece.

Finally, we cannot go without mentioning Guatemala-based Arrend Leasing which is the main vehicle leasing and fleet management player in the region. Managing a total of 7,861 vehicles in the countries of Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the multinational is part of the ALD Automotive/Wheels alliance.

For more information on these and other countries, visit Wikifleet, a collaborative effort by the Global Fleet team covering five regions and nearly 50 countries throughout the world. 

Authored by: Daniel Bland