Vehicles sold in July reached 20,542, down 35.4% from from 31,810 units sold in the same month last year, a joint statement by Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said on Friday.

Compared with the earlier month, the groups saw an improvement of 31.9% from June’s 15,578 units sold.

“Year-to-date, the industry has sold 105,583 units, a 48.7% decline compared with the same period a year ago,” they noted.

Still, CAMPI is hopeful that sales will continue to improve until December to achieve its 2020 sales target of 240,000 units.

“It is understandable that achieving the industry’s average monthly pre-COVID-19 level remains elusive and a challenge at the same time amid this pandemic and the recent pronouncement of economic recession. But this month-on-month of nearly 32% growth is what the industry needs at this point to achieve its sales forecast,” CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez was quoted as saying in the statement.

CAMPI and TMA noted the sales target for the year is equivalent to “41.5% decrease compared with the total industry sales volume recorded a year ago.”

Mr. Gutierrez said the reduction can have a “serious operational and financial impact” on the industry.

He said both groups had submitted their proposals for support to the Trade department. Car dealerships were shut from mid-March due to the Luzon-wide lockdown. Some dealerships started reopening in mid-May after lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

“The industry is doing all it can to sustainably provide sales promotions to encourage customers amid another stricter community quarantine for this month,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

“On our part, the industry is ensuring that all the necessary safety measures are strictly observed to protect both our customers and our front liners,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin