toyota dealership Mexico's leading automotive brands saw sales decline in June, but Toyota sales went the other way.

New-car sales down 6% so far this year, the lowest level in four years

An industry analyst expects the downward trend to continue for the rest of the year

Light-vehicle sales hit a four-year low in the first half of 2019, which industry representatives say is partly due to uncertainty over the political and economic situation in the country.

In the first six months, 638,597 new cars were sold in Mexico, a decline of 6% compared with the same period in 2018 and the lowest number for the period in four years.

According to Guillermo Rosales, director of the Mexican Automotive Dealers Association (AMDA), the numbers show that the decline in new car sales that began in mid-2017 is continuing.

“The decline that started in June 2017 was accentuated in the first half of 2019, and we predict that it will continue into the second half,” he said.

New car purchases fell 8.4% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Rosales said the decline in sales can be attributed to rising debt and falling purchasing power, as well as uncertainty about Mexico’s economic and political future.

“[Those elements] are joining a panorama of risks which could lead to even bigger declines in vehicle sales than the 6.3% decline forecast for the year,” he said.

In June, Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen were able to maintain their positions as the top three in Mexico despite significant declines in sales volumes compared with June 2018, of 16.9%, 23.8% and 10% respectively. Toyota and KIA, which rank fourth and fifth in market share, increased their sales volume in June by 9% and 4.8%, but still trail behind their competitors in market share.

Gerardo Gómez, Mexico country manager for J.D. Power, said he expects sales numbers to improve in 2020.

“We see that the market could be in a better situation next year, because some of the economic changes in the country will have stabilized, and there will be a process of renewing vehicles,” he said. “But for this year, vehicle sales will continue falling compared with 2018.”

Source: El Financiero (sp), Autocosmos (sp)

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