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.- Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star