By Kap Maceda Aguila
HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai passenger cars and commercial vehicles (CVs) in the Philippines, reported a 12.5% sales uptick in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year. HARI moved 9,949 units in the period compared to 8,847 in the first quarter of 2018.
In a release, the company’s President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said: “HARI sustained its growth momentum in the first quarter driven by the successful introduction of fresh and innovative models such as the Reina at the start of the year and a more positive buying sentiment from consumers. We are well-poised to continue this upward trend over the next three quarters as we recently unveiled pioneering vehicles at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS).”
Aside from the Reina, HARI also introduced this year the first full-size SUV of Hyundai, the Palisade. The company also unveiled the fully electric version of its Kona SUV. Both vehicles were launched at MIAS.
In March, HARI sold 3,412 units, marking a 6% increase over the same month last year. Its passenger car (PC) segment registered 5,405 in sales in the first quarter, dipping by 12.9%. Still, the company points out that “net of sales phased out in 2018, PC sales… increased by over 22%.”
The company expressed confidence that two nameplates, the Reina and the all-new Accent, will serve as “main volume drivers” for the PC segment. “Barely three months after its launch, the Reina has already contributed to nearly 16% of… first-quarter sales,” reported HARI.
A big driver of numbers for the company has largely been the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment as sales have significantly increased by 70.5%, or 4,306 units in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2,526 units sold during the same period in 2018. The Kona Crossover accounted for 24% of LCV sales, while the H-100 took 44% of the pie.
Finally, Hyundai trucks and buses grew by a huge 106% in Q1, and HARI intends to bank on this segment even more through the construction of seven additional dedicated CV dealerships across the country to augment the six already in operation. Following its exemplary sales performance in the segment, HARI was awarded by Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) as Top Regional Distributor of Commercial Vehicles for 2018 in the Asia Pacific, Russia, and Commonwealth of Independent States — beating 25 other countries.