Auto sales rise 4.8% in April

Posted on May 09, 2017

AUTO SALES rose modestly year on year in April, and retreated from their month-earlier totals, car and truck manufacturers said in a statement Monday.

Data jointly released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed the auto industry selling 29,038 units in April, up 4.8% from a year earlier and down 20.6% from March 2017.

The latest tally brought four-month vehicle sales to 123,064 units, up 18.1% on the record tally from the year-earlier period.

CAMPI President and first vice-president at Toyota Motor Philippines Rommel R. Gutierrez has said that auto industry sales are expected “to hit 440,000 -- 450,000 in 2017.”

In 2016, sales beat the groups’ target of 329,300 units by 12.36% with member companies selling a total of 359,572 units. Another domestic auto industry group, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), reports its member companies’ sales separately. Last year, the combined target of CAMPI, TMA and AVID was 370,000 units.

CAMPI and TMA said in their joint statement on Monday that sales of passenger cars -- which accounted for 33.98% of units sold last month -- rose 5.3% to 41,813 units in the four-month period.

April sales of commercial vehicles -- which include trucks and buses -- rose to 81,251 units, up 26.1% year on year, with most categories within the segment growing.

“The modest growth in April may be attributed to the fewer number of working days during the month,” Mr. Gutierrez was quoted as saying.

In April, passenger car sales dipped 0.6% year on year to 9,862 units. Most vehicle segments rose except trucks and buses under Category 5 which fell 21.2% to 119 units.

The joint statement said “most segments performed well last month.” Commercial vehicles were up 7.9% at 19,176 units.

April sales of Asian utility vehicles rose 20.4% to 5,685 units. This brought year-to-date sales to 24,357, up 32.8% from a year earlier.

On the other hand, sales of light commercial vehicles -- mostly pickups and sport utility vehicles -- rose 1.6% year on year in April to 12,430 units. Sales for the January to April period totaled 52,066 units, up 21.5%.

Sales of light trucks and buses surged 25.1% in April to 583 units. In the year to date, the total was 2,930 units, up 53.6%.

Sales of Category 4 heavy-duty trucks and buses rose 73.4% year on year to 359 units in April, bringing the four-month total to 1,326 units. Category 5 vehicle sales meanwhile decreased by 21.2% in April to 119 units, bringing the January to April total to 572 units, down 7.9% year on year.

The joint statement said Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. accounted for 43.42% of the market in terms of sales. Number two automaker Mitsubishi Motors Philippines accounted for 17.76%, while Ford Motor Philippines, Inc., had a market share at 8.44%.

Rounding out the top five in sales are Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (7.16%) and Isuzu Philippines Corp. (6.89%). -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin