Sales of Hyundai vehicles in PHL slump in Jan.

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HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. expects passenger car sales to bounce back this year.

HYUNDAI Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) said January sales of Hyundai vehicles in the country fell 5% year on year, amid the market’s lack of appetite for new cars.

In a statement on Monday, the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines said it sold a total of 2,758 vehicles in the first month of the year, lower than the 2,903 in January 2018. The figure also represents a 6.7% drop versus sales in December 2018.

Passenger cars accounted for the bulk of sales at 52.32%. HARI sold 1,443 passenger cars in January, 29% decline from the 2,036 units in the same month last year.

The Accent model, which represented 91.55% of the segment, saw a 2.48% year-on-year increase with sales at 1,321 units.

Sales of other passenger cars decreased, namely Eon which plunged 91% to 50 units in January from 528 a year ago, and the Elantra which dipped 68% to 70 units from 219 last year.

However, Hyundai expects the passenger car segment to recover in the next months with the recent launch of its Reina model.

Meanwhile, the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment climbed 52%, to 1,315 units from 867 units in January 2018.

“The addition of the Kona and the heightened demand for the H-100 has bolstered the segment’s performance,” the company said, adding the Kona sold 241 units.

Sales of the H-100 model, which accounted for 46% of the LCV segment, increased three-fold year on year to 608 units. Santa Fe purchases rose 11.32% to 59 units.

Sales of the Tucson slid by 45% to 155 units, and those of Grand Starex declined 23% to 252 units.

For 2019, the company remains optimistic that sales will rebound this year, as the economy is expected to improve on the back of the government’s continued spending and its infrastructure program.

“This is supported by positive sentiments from the market as inflation begins to ease, dropping to 4.4% in January 2019, the effects of TRAIN slowly dissipating, and the BSP expected to loosen its monetary stance. All of which will play for a better environment for the automotive-buying consumer,” HARI said.