Car imports beat locals

Published by rudy Date posted on May 6, 2011

SALES of imported vehicles outpaced those of locally assembled models during the first quarter, according to the Philippine Automotive Federation Inc. (PAFI)

According to Frank Nacua, PAFI secretary general, the share of completely built-up (CBU) units grew to 51.3 percent or 18,629 out of the 36,289 vehicles sold during the first three months of the year. During the first quarter of last year, CBU imports cornered 50.6 percent or 16,962 out of the 33,536 vehicles sold.

First-quarter sales of CBUs rose faster at 9.8 percent year-on-year, while sales of vehicles assembled locally during the same period went up at a slower 6.6 percent to 17,660 units this year from 16,574 units last year.

The PAFI data reflected only the sales of the members of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association.

The share of imports could be higher if the CBU sales of the importers of Hyundai, Chevrolet/General Motors, Volvo, Chana, FAW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Subaru, Chery and other Chinese and luxury brands would be included. For one, Hyundai, whose vehicles are imported from South Korea, was the third highest selling brand in the first quarter with 4,712 units sold.

Almost three-fourths of the imported CBU units sold in the country came from neighboring Asean countries Thailand and Indonesia. Sales of imports from Thailand―considered the automotive manufacturing hub in the region―numbered 12,488 units, up 13.7 percent and composed 67 percent of vehicle sales in the first quarter.

Sales of Japan-made vehicles hit 2,642 units in the first quarter, up 58.4 percent year-on-year, and comprised 14.2 percent of first-quarter sales.

“The sales for the second quarter may show significant changes in data depending on the effects of the Japan tsunami event last March 11,” Nacua said.

The disasters that hit Japan―a leading vehicle and parts producer―have resulted in disruptions of the global automotive supply chain, causing slower production among manufacturers.

Domestic assemblers such as the Philippine subsidiaries of Ford, Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Toyota as well as truck manufacturers have already slashed their production because of the lack of parts. –BEN ARNOLD O. DE VERA REPORTER, Manila Times

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