By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Car production in the country plummeted by more than 44 percent in the first semester this year as sales declined by a significant 12.5 percent, making the Philippines the sore thumb among the bigger motor vehicle producer countries in ASEAN.
Data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) showed Philippine car companies were able to produce 40,982 units only in the first six months of the year or 44.3 percent behind the 73,594 unit output in the same period in 2017.
Monthly production cuts ranged from a low of 31.5 percent to a high of 66.1 percent. The sharpest decline was registered in June at 66.1 percent with production of 4,237 units only from 12,503 units in the same month last year. The lowest cut was posted in January with only 7,512 units produced from 19,966 units produced in the first month of 2017.
The Philippines was the lone with a negative growth in a region that reported robust car business.
The AAF reported a 6.6 percent increase in overall production to 2,109,048 units from 1,978,923 units in the first half of 2017.
Thailand, the Detroit of ASEAN, increased its production by 11.1 percent to 1,056,569 units from 950,966 units the previous year.
Indonesia, the largest market in the region, produced 624,408 units in the first semester or 4.5 percent higher than the 597,550 units in the same period last year. Malaysia also improved its production by 10 percent to 280,947 units from 255,318 units last year. Vietnam posted a modest growth of 1.6 percent to produce a total of 101,459 units from 99,906 units in the same first half of 2017.
Myanmar, amid a lower base, grew by 194.7 percent to 4,683 units from 1,589 units.
In terms of sales, the AAF data also showed the Philippines with the steepest decline among bigger markets in the region with motor vehicle sales of 171,590 units only or 12.5 percent lower than 196,164 units sold in the same first semester of 2017.
Reduction in monthly sales ranged from a low of 3.2 percent to a high of 22.8 percent. In June, sales declined by 22 percent to only 29,350 units from 37,631 units in June 2017. The highest reduction was registered in March this year to 28,216 units only or 22.8 percent lower than 36,561 units in the same months last year.
The AAF, however, reported a positive growth of 4.7 percent in overall sales to 1,690,834 units in the first half this year from 1,614,705 units same period last year.
Comparatively, the region’s big three markets posted positive led by Thailand, known as the Detroit of ASEAN, with a dramatic 19.3 percent increase to 489,118 units from 409,980 units in the first semester last year.
Indonesia, the region’s largest market, has improved sales by 3.8 percent to 553,779 units from 533,506 units same period last year. Malaysia followed with a modest 1.8 percent growth with 289,714 units from 284,453 units last year.
Vietnam posted flat growth of 0.1 percent to 125,659 from 125,490 units last year. Amid a smaller base, Myanmar’s car sales s sales surged 114.1 percent to 6,841 units from 3,195 units last year.
Smaller car markets in ASEAN like Singapore posted a 13.3 percent drop to 48,443 units from 55,844 units while Brunei also reported a negative 6.3 percent to 5,690 units from 6,073 units.