Touch screens, space and modern safety equipment are the benefits that the automotive park of Panama offers to customers when buying a vehicle, with the hope of reviving sales in this sector hit by the slowdown in the economy .
The executive director of the Association of Dealers of Automobiles of Panama (ADAP), Patricia Vukelja, mentioned to Efe that for two years the companies detected the preference of the people for the models of the Suv segment, displacing from the market the "king" of the Panamanian motorist, the sedan.
"Users want utility cars for all purposes, without neglecting the safety parameters that are paramount for the sale of cars in the country," the executive added.
This sector of the economy, which has suffered in recent years a fall in the sale of cars looking for ways to stay afloat, so they carry out different conventions such as the "Summer Auto Show", in order to boost sales.
Vukelja predicted that for this fair, in which 19 companies of 20 vehicle brands and 2 motorcycles that belong to the association participate, about 7,000 visitors will attend this weekend.
"This fair will help speed up car sales, it will also help people who want to opt for their second vehicle or buy a new one in a single place with different financing options, variety of models, guarantees and maintenance," the executive explained. .
And the fact is that the sale of new cars registered a -1.5% between January and February 2019, although it was redynamized when compared to the drop of -10.6% in the same period of 2018.
Only the segment of luxury cars, light SUVs or SUVs and minivans improved, according to the preliminary figures of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec), which in total reported the sale of 7,721 new vehicles between January and February, while In the same two-month period last year there were 7,842, and in 2017 they were 8,768 and 9,992 in 2016, while in 2015 they reached 9,008.
The Inec details in its latest report, published on April 2, that the luxury car segment (370) grew 6.6 percent in the first two months of this year, while that of Suvs (2.834) on the 6th, 7, the same as that of minivans (159), compared with the similar period of 2018.
At the other extreme is the sale of vehicle panels (86), with minus 36.3 percent; buses (118), with minus 30.6; trucks (185) with minus 26.3; "pick ups" (1,095) minus 5.7, and 2,874 regulars (sedans, coupe and vans), which indicates that commercial transport activity is slowed down, but not recreational activity.
Carlos Vergara, brand manager of a Japanese firm, told Efe that consumers are inclined to cars that have more space in the trunk, assembly quality and a good range of maneuverability in cities due to their size.
For the dealership, the line of models most desired are SUV vans, followed by pic kup and sedans. What has led them to innovate with offers ranging from 19,500 to 50,400 dollars per unit.
"People usually request accessories such as carpets and smoked papers, but this brand is very complemented," assured Vergara at the fair held at the Atlapa Convention Center.
He said that at the fair they receive a higher flow than they have on regular days, which is why Vergara expressed that it is a "competition of all against all to convince about the strength of brands to attract customers".
Same line has the sales supervisor of a firm also Nippon, Miguel Martinez, who told Efe that most of the sales are in medium and large SUVs, the most expensive being that reaches $ 60,000 cash.
"Although the market has contracted for some segments" his brand was maintained with the billings of luxury vehicles, "which are currently the most demanded by customers," he said.
He reiterated that the Japanese range has attractive specifications such as touch screen, button ignition and luxury rings.
"Users greatly value the connectivity of touch screens with their smartphones, this allows them interactivity without neglecting the management," he said.