MAY 9, 2009
(STAR) By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - Vehicle sales dropped by a slight 3.3 percent to 38,522 units during the first four months of this year, a joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed yesterday.

“So far the local industry is holding up better than other markets,” CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee said. She noted that the low single digit decline in sales is better than other developed economies.

“Auto sales continue to be supported by the overall financing environment. Buyers still have access to financing and continue to buy although buyers are becoming more discerning with greater ‘price shopping’, feature comparison, and value for money as key considerations for purchase amid the wide variety of vehicles being offered in the market,” Lee said.

She said that industry players still remain cautiously optimistic given that the three-percent decline in sales is still relatively small. “We will have to see how the industry fares in the next two to three months and if there is enough reason to adjust our yearend forecasts,” Lee said.

Auto players expect stiffer competition with buyers benefitting from promotional activities offered by most brands. Sales are expected to normalize in the next months.

Month-on-month sales went down by seven percent on account of shorter selling days in April due to the Holy Week holidays. Sales in April reached only 9,988 units.

Passenger Cars (PC) grew by two percent while Commercial vehicles (CV) declined by six percent although CVs continue to dominate overall vehicles sales with a 64 percent share of nationwide sales selling 24,756 units.

For Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), the unavailability of some variants decreased year to date sales by 13.7 percent, although on a month-on-month basis sales went down by 3.2 percent due to deliveries of pending orders.

There was a slight movement for light commercial vehicles (LCV). Sales of vans, pickup trucks, and compact wagons which form the bulk of LCV sales continue to hold. The decline in April sales against the high sales of March was expected due to shorter selling days. LCV sales are expected to pick up in the coming months.

Light truck sales increased by 3.6 percent due to higher fleet sales deliveries compared to last year. Although year-to-date sales decreased by 29.4 percent for trucks and buses, month-on-month sales increased by 70 percent due to new bus purchases transportation-related businesses.

Toyota sold most vehicles with 34.5 percent of the market followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 17.5 percent and Honda Cars Philippines at 15.2 percent.

Auto sales up 2.7% in February By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio Updated March 10, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Auto sales went up by 2.7 percent to 9,027 units in February from a month ago, a good indication that the industry may grow this year despite the dismal performance of the auto industry in other countries, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) said.

“We are indeed thankful and continue to be cautiously optimistic especially when two thirds of the world went into a recession last year and auto sales elsewhere are plunging,” CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee said.

“We continue to bank on sustained OFW remittances, the entrepreneurial trend, and the critical stable financing market to help boost sales,” Lee added.

Despite the 2.7 percent growth rate in February, sales for the two-month period went down 2.5 percent. However, Lee said industry players continue to be optimistic with a forecast of between two percent and four percent growth for the year. Lee noted that the industry is expecting steady sales in the coming months.

Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. sold the most cars with 35.1 percent of the market share. This was followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 16.8 percent, Honda Cars Philippines Inc. 16.7 percent and Isuzu Philippines Corp. 6.4 percent.

Commercial vehicles (CV) continue to dominate the market with a 63 percent market share registering an 8.5 percent growth versus January sales although year to date sales declined by 7.6 percent when compared to the same period last year.

The growth in February sales was supported by a strong growth in Asian utility vehicle (AUV) sales as well as continued growth in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment. CV sales are expected to grow in the coming months.

February showed a strong growth from AUV sales with a 24.7 percent jump against the January level.

The increase in February sales is a strong indication of perhaps the start of a positive growth trend in the coming months. Strong sales in this segment are backed by purchases of vehicles used for business.

Toyota sold the most CVs with 34.6 percent of the market share. Second was Mitsubishi with 24.1 percent, Isuzu 10.1 percent, Hyundai Asia Resoirces Inc. and Universal Motors Corp both with 6.8 percent.

Meanwhile, year to date passenger car (PC) sales grew by 7.6 percent although February sales declined by 6.6 percent. Nevertheless, PC sales were at 3,162 for the month of February. The introduction of some new models will continue to boost sales in the segment. Sales are expected to grow in the following months.

Honda was the leader at 38.5 percent. Toyota at 36.1 percent market share, Hyundai 6.8 percent, Ford Motor Company Phils Inc. five percent and Mitsubishi 4.1 percent.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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