DAVAO CITY — Suzuki Philippines, Inc. is expanding its marketing and distribution network in Mindanao as it eyes showrooms in the cities of Tagum, Surigao and Dipolog after the recent opening of the Suzuki Auto Davao store.
The Japanese automobile and motorcycle brand, which has a nationwide dealership network of 71, including satellite outlets, already has showrooms in the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, and Zamboanga.
Suzuki Auto Davao, which started operations in 2016, is under the supervision of Grand Canyon Multi-holdings, Inc., which currently owns 10 Suzuki dealerships around the country.
“Davao is one of our fastest economic areas in the Philippines and I see a very big opportunity for us, so therefore we are happy for today for our showroom opening,” Shuzo Hoshikura, vice president and general manager of Suzuki Philippines automobile division, said in an interview.
With robust sales in Mindanao in the last five years, Mr. Hoshikura said the company anticipates growth despite the industry slowdown this year following the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, which adjusted the excise tax on automobiles.
“Meaning, I have to appreciate Mindanao for accepting our units,” Mr. Hoshikura said.
People still want to buy vehicles, he said, although overall sales of the automobile industry has been affected with the January to July 2018 period dropping 30% from the same period last year.
“The trend went down slowly compared to 2017. People were surprised with TRAIN. In December 2017, we caught panic sales, people started buying because of the new tax reform, and after that the market dropped. And now people start adjusting because people still want to buy vehicles. But of course they have a budget,” Mr. Hoshikura said.
Under the TRAIN Law, lower-priced cars are taxed at lower rates while more expensive cars have a higher levy. — Maya M. Padillo