The preventive and compulsory social isolation decreed by the national government, in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, led to the closure of dealerships and automobile registries, which are not included in the essential services that may remain in operation.
This created an unprecedented situation in Argentine history: the patenting data was reported ten days before the end of the month, because operations of this type cannot be carried out.
According to the report of the Association of Automotive Dealers of the Argentine Republic (Acara), 1,595 zero kilometer units were sold in Córdoba until the last Friday, which means a fall of 60.4 percent in relation to the 2,751 of March of 2019.
But since the comparison is with a full month, one way to correct the distortion is to evaluate the patents per day. So far in March there have been 15 business days, which means about 106 sales per day. Last year, March had a total of 21 business days, which means 131 vehicles per day. Thus, the interannual variation would continue to be negative but in a smaller proportion: 19 percent.
Precisely, from Acara they pointed out that the activity levels until March 15 suggested a scenario with a drop of less than 20 percent for the year 2020. “But not knowing the extent of the fall in general economic activity, due to the coronavirus epidemic, today it is impossible to predict how the current year will end ”, they indicated.
In this sense, they remarked that March had generated some expectation, because the daily average of patents was growing five percent compared to February.
In total, 17,739 zero kilometers were sold nationwide in March and 90,392 so far this year.
Ricardo Salomé, president of Acara, pointed out in this regard that “it is very difficult to make an accurate analysis with the number of events that are happening in the country.”
“We must spend these weeks with special attention to the health of our population, the time will come to rethink, along with the factories and the union, the incentives, sales targets and demands. In a situation like this, we all have to make our positions more flexible in order to find the way to continue, ”he stressed.
For his part, the Secretary General of Acara, Ruben Beato, said: “We join in prioritizing the health of all Argentines over any sector interest and then we will see how we can recover and resume the positive line of work that we had with the Government and a united sector ”.
“The daily average of operations for March had been showing activity and consultations on the rise with respect to February, and it seemed that we were heading to leave behind the last four years of deterioration and destruction of the internal market. This hasty end of the month leaves us with more doubts than certainties, “he added.