VEHICLE SALES in the first half dropped by more than 12%, auto and truck manufacturers said, noting that potential buyers prioritized their basic needs over the acquisition of high-value goods amid rising inflation.
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said in a joint statement that vehicle sales in the first six totaled 171,352 units, down 12.5% from a year earlier.
In June, auto sales amounted to 29,350 units, down 21.7% from a year earlier and down 4% compared with May.
Lawyer Rommel Gutierrez, president of CAMPI, said consumers are keeping their purchasing in check, preferring to satisfy their need for basic goods and services instead of big-ticket items at a time of high inflation.
In June, inflation was 5.2%, the highest in five years.
“This is typical consumer behavior when economic conditions are a bit gloomy… However, we remain optimistic that our sales will recover in the coming months, and sustain growth by the end of the year,” the industry associations added.
Car sales saw the biggest drop in June purchases, plunging 42.6% to 7,766 units. This was followed by sales of category-1 Asian Utility Vehicles, which declined 31.7% to 5,061 units.
June sales in the commercial vehicle segment fell nearly 10% to 21,584 units.
The decline in sales of light commercial vehicle and light trucks was less pronounced, falling 0.6% to 15,179 units and 5.7% to 706 units sold, respectively.
Sales of trucks and buses grew by 25% and 22.9%, respectively. Truck sales rose to 445 units and buses rose to 193 units.
Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. remained the industry leader with a 42.7% market share at the end of June.
This was followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. at 19.5%.
Rounding the top five were Nissan Philippines, Inc. with a 7.72% market share; Ford Motor Co. Philippines, Inc. at 7.3%; and Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. at 7.01%. — Janina C. Lim