Auto sales seen to post flat growth this year

Published by rudy Date posted on January 6, 2008

The local auto industry may experience a flat growth in terms of sales this year as a result of the expected drop in demand due to the global economic slowdown.

“Official CAMPI (Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.) forecast for 2009 is two percent to four percent growth which is a slower growth compared to 2008, with a flat growth as a worst case scenario,” Elizabeth H. Lee, CAMPI president said in a statement.

According to Lee, the local industry remains positive compared to other markets especially those in the developed economies with saturated markets.

Although a spill over effect from the global economic turndown is expected, the degree of impact is expected to be relatively less,” Lee noted.

“Perhaps this may be an opportune time to highlight Philippine auto opportunities especially against the backdrop of the changing face of globalization turning into regionalization,” she added.

According to her, the remittances coming from the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will remain a significant engine of consumption.

Lee stressed that this year will be challenging for all players as competition becomes stiffer.

She said vehicles that give the greatest value for money will be winners as buyers seek to get the most out of their earnings. As such, dual purpose vehicles will continue to be popular.

Likewise, Lee said that prices of vehicles will be steady barring any spikes in the exchange rate. “As long as the peso does not go over P50 (to a dollar),” Lee said. According to her, the ideal rate is 44 to $1.

Lee said they are not expecting any significant price increases next year given the dropping prices in the oil prices, logistics expense and steel prices.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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