Guatemala - Country Commercial Guide
Automotive Aftermarket and Accessories

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-08-10


After almost two years of a pandemic and due to mobility restrictions imposed by the Guatemalan Government to contain the COVID-19 virus, the market has bounced back, and previsions are estimated for a 5% to 10% market growth for the sector compared to 2019 before the pandemic.

In March 2020, the Guatemalan Government imposed mobility restrictions and a very long lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic that according to the Guatemalan car importers and distributors affected the industry and sales dropped 57%.  The industry witnessed for the first-time layoff of employees at car dealerships and spare part stores with declining sales, as mobility was limited for several months.

The industry has bounced back as the country and citizens learn to live with the virus and continue their daily lives. Imports for parts and accessories have increased to supply the market and is back to normal. The only category that has not recuperated is the imports of new cars, due to the worldwide scarcity of chips, car manufacturers are not able to supply the demand in Guatemala. For example, Car importers mentioned that if they make an order for 100 cars, they will be lucky if they get 20, and, they are not being able to offer their clients all the types of colors available as manufacturers send what they have available.

On average, Guatemalans keep their automobiles for five to seven years before purchasing a newer model. To supply the demand for those who wish to purchase a new vehicle at a lower cost, an important number of informal importers purchase damaged cars at auctions in the United States. These importers repair the automobiles and refurbish them locally for later re-sale.  

As of January 2022, the total number of vehicles in Guatemala was 4.2 million units - including motorcycles. This number represents over 75% increase in the last ten years.  

Imported parts and equipment are sold to local mechanic shops, service stations and gas stations. The significant volume of used vehicles in circulation and the poor conditions of the roads have contributed to the need for repair equipment and parts.  

The U.S. is the source of 37% of all automotive parts, accessories, and service equipment with the remaining percentage of imports coming from South Korea, Mexico, Japan, China, Brazil, India, and Europe. A significant number of Asian manufacturers are represented in the market selling a large volume low-priced product. It is estimated that almost 75% of the cars circulating in Guatemala are manufactured by Asian brands. According to the Guatemalan Customs Office, 39% of the cars in Guatemala are Toyota, 10% Mazda, 9% Honda, 7% Nissan, 5% Mitsubishi, 4% Hyundai, 4% Kia, 3% Chevrolet, 3% Ford, 2% Volkswagen and 14% others. 

Table: Market size for automotive parts, accessories, and service equipment





2022 est.

Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Exchange Rates






(Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports) 
Units: $ thousands 
Source: SIECA Guatemala, Central America Data Express 

Leading Sub-Sectors 

The most promising sub-sectors for U.S. products within the industry include aftermarket products such as: hydraulic brake fluids, liquids for hydraulic transmission systems, lead-acid, piston engines, used pneumatic tires or rubber, parts and accessories for suspension systems, oil and fuel filters, bumpers, spoilers, tail lights, wheels, sound systems, alarms, radial tires, batteries, suspension kits, mufflers, air filters, chips, exhaust systems, brakes, windshield wipers, spark plugs, wheel covers, and steering wheels. 

Other promising products are service equipment such as: lifts, tire repair, electronic diagnosis, tire balancing, compressors, and equipment and tools for service stations. 


To supply the large demand for aftermarket products, service tools and equipment, there are more than one hundred spare parts and service agencies in Guatemala.  Most agents and distributors, whether they are large companies or small entrepreneurs, are continually looking at new alternatives to offer their customers.  

It is very important to note that this market is price driven and that Asian brands are well positioned in the market and offer counterfeit “copies” of lower quality and price.  Innovative, unusual products present a good opportunity for U.S. manufacturers if the prices remain competitive. 

Market Size:  4.2 million vehicles (January 2022) 

U.S. Auto Parts Exports: $141.1 million in 2021

Impact of Tariff Reduction:  Under DR-CAFTA, U.S. manufactured automotive parts enter Guatemala at 0% import duty.  U.S. companies can take advantage on these cost savings by applying to benefits under DR CAFTA when exporting to Guatemala. 

Origin rules in CAFTA-DR allow remanufactured parts to qualify for duty free treatment, potentially expanding the market for these products in the CAFTA-DR region. 





Interested parties may contact Commercial Specialist Antonio Prieto at