Don’t feel like white sandy beaches and impossibly warm waters? No worries. You can discover the best-selling models in 168 additional countries and territories in my blog. Or look at a more general view of the US market with the Top 277 best-selling models in the USA over the first 9 months 2012…
Back to Puerto Rico.
The first striking thing about the Puerto Rican car market is how well the Japanese manufacturers are doing and how, well not so well the Americans are faring…
But before I go any further, I can hear a few of you in the back asking whether Puerto Rico is actually a country. In fact Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the Caribbean Sea and home to 3.7 million inhabitants. The Puerto Rican new car market is very dynamic with 93,687 registrations over the Full Year 2011 (+1 percent), 8,300 in September 2012 alone (+9 percent) and 72,781 over the first 9 months of 2012, (+13 percent). One of the particularities of the car landscape in Puerto Rico is the weakness of most American manufacturers (Chrysler, Dodge, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Lincoln) with the exception of Ford and Jeep, and the strength of Japanese and Korean carmakers.
The Toyota Yaris is the most popular car in Puerto Rico by far, both in September with 698 sales and 8.4 percent share and year-to-date at 6,592 units and 9.1 percent. It is followed also in both rankings by the Toyota Corolla with 491 sales and 5.9 percent this month and 4,500 and 6.2 percent year-to-date.
Contrary to mainland USA where it is stuck around #150, the Mitsubishi Lancer is extremely strong in Puerto Rico, ranking #3 in September at 423 units and 5.1 percent share, ahead of the Hyundai Accent (vs. #78 in the USA) and Jeep Wrangler (vs. #29).
Another model selling poorly in the States (#169 in September) but amazingly well here is the Suzuki SX4, mainly in its sedan version, at #6 this month with 192 sales and 2.3 percent. The Toyota Prius C is also much more popular here than in the US, up to a fantastic 8th position in September at 186 units and 2.2 percent. The Kia Rio and Nissan Rogue round up this month’s Top 10.
Other great performers on the island include the Ford Fiesta at #15 (vs. #85), Kia Sportage at #18 (vs. #109), Suzuki Grand Vitara at #24 (vs. #225), Hyundai Veloster at #25 (vs. #104), Mitsubishi Outlander at #30 (vs. #196), Ford Ranger at #48 (vs. #244) and Scion iQ at #53 (vs. #189).
Notice also the Mitsubishi ASX (sold as Outlander Sport on the mainland), ranking #12 with 1,494 sales and 1.2% year-to-date, which would seem to indicate that Puerto Rican sales are counted separately and not included in the monthly US sales data…
Conversely, some strong sellers in the US don’t hit the mark here: the Honda Accord is #23 (vs. #4), Toyota Camry #27 (vs. #3), Ford F-Series #33 (vs. #1) and Chevrolet Silverado #152 (vs. #2). Finally, notice the Dodge Dart enjoying its very first month of sales on the island in September at 13 units, and available sales figures for prestige brands such as Maserati (8 sales year-to-date), Lotus (7) and Ferrari (6).
Top 10 best-selling models in Puerto Rico – 9 months 2012:
|8||Toyota Prius C||186||2.2%||n/a|
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.