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Car sales top 60,000 in 1st quarter

Posted on April 14, 2015

SALES of the country’s automotive industry breached the 60,000-unit mark last quarter with stronger performance of both the passenger car (PC) and commercial vehicle (CV) segments, according to a joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association.

According to the report released yesterday, domestic vehicle sales reached 62,882 units in the first three months of the year, 21.6% more than the 51,722 units sold in 2014’s comparable period.

Helping lift the figures of the country’s biggest auto industry group were PC sales, which grew 38.2% year-on-year on deliveries of 25,051 units last quarter versus 18,127 units the past year. PC sales, which have grown by an average of 38% in the last three years, now account for almost 40% of the industry compared to 29% in 2012, according to CAMPI.

Rommel R. Gutierrez, president of CAMPI, said in a statement that "demand from the BPO (business process outsourcing) market has boosted the sale of the subcompact segment," adding that the "industry continues to respond with the right product mix and very attractive financing package to meet demand."

At the same time, the CV segment continued to rise with sales of 37,831 units last quarter, a 12.6% increase from the 33,595 units sold in 2014’s comparable months.

Mr. Gutierrez said via text that overseas Filipinos working (OFWs) "contribute to demand for PCs as well as AUVs," noting "there is also some light truck requirement from OFWs for [their] SMEs (small- and medium-scale enterprises)." AUVs and light trucks belong to the CV segment.

The 23,557 units sold in March alone were 14% more than February’s 20,663 units, and 23% over the 19,216 vehicles sold a year ago.

Leading performers last quarter were Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. with 27,816 vehicles (up 22% year-on-year with a 44.2% market share) and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 11,849 units (down 2.6% with a 18.8% share). -- Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz