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Car sales bounce back in 2019

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JENINA P. IBAÑEZ

AUTOMOBILE SALES in the Philippines slightly recovered in 2019, as December sales posted the fourth month of continuous growth, according to a joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) released on Tuesday.

Data from CAMPI-TMA showed 369,941 vehicles were sold, up 3.5% year on year, mainly due to improved sales of light commercial vehicles and light trucks.

Higher automobile taxes caused an industry slump in 2018, with total sales falling 16% to 357,410 units from the 425,673 cars sold in 2017.

For December alone, overall vehicle sales rose by 5.5% to 33,715 units from 31,945 units sold in the same month in 2018.

This followed two months of sales records, with November recording the year’s highest sales of 34,465 units, up 10.3% from units sold in the same month in 2018.

CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said the auto industry is optimistic about reaching its 410,000 overall sales target for 2019, with CAMPI and TMA accounting for 89% of the projection. The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc., which accounts for 11%, has not released its sales data for 2019.

The auto industry posted growth every month in 2019, except for a 15% drop in January and a 2.4% drop in August.

“The year 2019 has been challenging for the industry due to various internal and external factors. Thankfully the industry’s collective efforts, supported by sustained economic growth, have paid off. We will not rest on our laurels as we aim for further growth in the coming months, and hopefully for the whole of 2020,” Mr. Gutierrez was quoted as saying in a statement.

CAMPI-TMA data showed commercial vehicle sales for 2019, which accounts for 69.5% of the market, grew 5% to 260,744 vehicles from 248,390 in 2018. An 11% and 3.9% rise in sales of light commercial vehicles and light trucks, respectively, offset the lower sales of Asian utility vehicles or AUVs (-15.4%), trucks and buses.

Passenger car sales were flat at 109,197 units sold in 2019, from 109,020 in 2018.

In December alone, commercial vehicle sales grew by 8.1% to 24,469 units from 22,644 a year earlier. Passenger vehicle sales for the month slipped 0.6% to 9,246 from 9,301 vehicles.

AUV sales in December grew 25.9% to 4,457 units, while light commercial vehicle sales grew 3.8% to 18,645 units and light truck sales grew 16.9% to 796 units.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. led full-year sales with 43.79% of market share, as total car sales jumped 5.9% to 162,011 vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. followed with 17.32% market share as sales slumped 5.1% to 64,065 units.

Nissan Philippines, Inc., which had a 11.54% market share, recorded a 22.2% rise in sales to 42,694 units. Suzuki Philippines Inc. had a 6.47% market share as sales rose 21.2% to 23,919 units, while Ford Motor Company Philippines Inc., which has a market share of 5.92%, reported a 7.1% drop in sales to 21,900 units.

Among the CAMPI-TMA members, Adventure Cycle Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), the distributor and manufacturer of KTM motorcycles, had the biggest sales growth — a 124% surge to 5,019 in 2019. — Jenina P. Ibañez









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