Panama seen anchoring regional recovery – Wikifleet Central America


In 2022, Central America is expected to surpass the world in terms of economic recovery and Panama will be the leader in the region, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean Cepal.

Since the auto industry is heavily tied to economic forces, we are likely to see improved vehicle sales in Panama if semiconductor stocks around the world start making a gradual comeback next year, as the saying goes. many experts.

According to Patricia Vukelja, executive director of the Panama Automobile Dealers Association (ADAP), great advances in the automotive industry are already visible in 2021.

This year, the recovery of the auto industry in Panama has been much more positive than expected, showing that there is a demand and people are continuing to invest in the purchase of cars.

From January to November, the country’s auto industry grew 63% from the previous year, but still fell 23% from pre-pandemic (2019) levels.

While the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be behind us, the industry faces a new challenge and that is the inventory issue. “There is still a shortage of semiconductors which affects many products, including cars,” Ms. Vikelja told Radio Panama.

Last year (2020), Panama’s unadjusted GDP per capita was US $ 12,274, according to Global Fleet’s Wikifleet page on the country. Meanwhile, even though unemployment was quite high (18.5%), inflation (2.5%) and the benchmark interest rate (1.3%) were under control.

Panama Fleet Vehicles

Among the fleet vehicles available in Panama are the mid-size RAM 1000 pickup trucks (known as Fiat Toro in Brazil and Argentina) and the Peugeot Landtreck.

While the RAM 1000 is also available in the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, the Landtreck is a new model launched this year in Panama and Guatemala. The latter is available in a petrol or diesel engine version, and in a 4×4 or 4×2 traction version.

Peugeot Landtrek 2021 (copyright: Peugeot)

The other popular brands in the country are Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.

Panama has 1.22 million vehicles, or about one vehicle for every three inhabitants (including passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) and 7 out of 10 multinational companies offer company cars. Gasoline in the country is quite cheap, averaging around $ 0.69 per liter compared to the global average of $ 1.25 (November 2021).

Central American economy

While the average GDP in Latin America is expected to grow 5.9% in 2021, a 5.5% increase is forecast for Central America, strongly driven by Panama (up 12%), according to Wikifleet on the Cepal database. Neighboring countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica are up 4.6% and 3.7% respectively.

As for 2022, the average GDP in Latin America would be up 2.9%. Central America is expected to increase by 4.6%, being Panama (+ 8.2%), Guatemala (+ 4%) and Costa Rica (+ 3.5%).

To learn more about the fleet and mobility markets in Central America and other regions of the world, visit Wikifleet, a collaborative effort of the Global Fleet team spanning five regions and nearly 50 countries around the world. .


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