Sept. auto sales fall 9.7%

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VEHICLE SALES slipped nearly 10% year-on-year in September, according to the joint report issued by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

A total of 31,116 units were sold during the month, 9.7% lower than the 34,445 units sold in September 2017.

However, CAMPI noted the September sales figure is a 2.6% increase from the 30,313 units sold in August.

CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said the introduction of new models helped drive sales growth for two straight months.

“We remain optimistic that this trend will be sustained before the year ends, as we expect boost in sales from the upcoming 7th Philippine International Motor Show this month and the Christmas season,” he said in the statement.

The auto industry has slumped this year with the implementation of the first package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.

The tax reform program imposed higher excise taxes on vehicles, with those costing P600,000 and below being taxed 4%, up from 2%. The tax on cars priced between P600,000 and P1 million was adjusted to 10%, from the previous charge of P12,000 plus 20% of the amount in excess of P600,000.

For the first nine months of 2018, vehicle sales dropped 13.8% to 261,057 units, from 302,869 units sold during the same period last year.

CAMPI is one of two automotive associations that releases data on auto sales, with a membership consisting of auto companies that assemble locally. The association’s sales figures reflect the state of the market for mass-market cars, compared to higher-end cars which are usually imported.

Commercial vehicle sales, a proxy for durable-goods investment and broader economic activity, dropped 9.4% year-on-year in September to 21,675 units. For the nine-month period, commercial vehicle sales fell 10.6% to 179,979 units year-on-year.

Passenger car sales declined 10.2% annually to 9,441 units in September. This brought the nine-month sales of passenger sales 20.2% lower to 81,078 units.

Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. continued to lead the market, accounting for 42% of year-to-date sales. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. followed with 19.38% market share, and Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 9.39%.

Rounding up the top five are Ford Motor Company Phils., Inc. with 6.94% and Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. with 6.67%. — J.C.Lim