SALES of imported automobiles increased by 12% year-on-year in February, although year-to-date sales still dropped, according to data released on Thursday by the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID).
Sales by AVID members totaled 7,876 units last month compared to 7,017 units in February 2017.
Still, auto sales dropped eight percent to 14,499 units as of February from 15,712 units in last year’s first two months.
Sales of passenger cars dipped by one percent to 2,843 units last month from 2,881 units a year ago.
Accounting for 62% of February’s total, light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales increased by 22% to 4,905 units from 4,028 units in February last year.
The first two months of the year saw 15% drop in passenger car sales to 5,140 units from 6,065 a year ago, with Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) topping the list with 3,490 units sold, 12.8% less than the year-ago 4,002 units. In a separate statement on Thursday, HARI reported that total sales increased by 38.6% to 3,715 units in February, driving two-month sales up 16.2% to 6,537 vehicles. Suzuki Philippines, Inc. (SPI) followed with 1,204 units sold, slighly less than the year-ago 1,280.
The same comparative two-month periods saw LCV sales dip three percent to 9,146 units from 9,434 units. Ford Group Philippines, Inc. topped in this segment with 3,596 units sold, 19% down from 4,456 units in last year’s first two months. HARI followed with 2,893 units sold, 87% more than last year’s 1,550; while SPI sold 1,680 units, a fourth less than 2,202 last yar.
The annual growth was driven by increased consumer spending and the launch of new products.
“We are encouraged by the good sales performance of AVID for the month which signals stronger consumer confidence as well as preference for top-notch products. While we are still in the early part of the year, we… expect a robust recovery for the automotive industry,” AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said in a statement.
AVID is the auto industry association whose members import their products. — JCL