By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Driven by the continued strong sales of commercial vehicles (CV) and the rebound of passenger cars (PC), the local auto industry saw its May 2019 sales surge by 20.2 percent versus previous month, and 1.2 percent higher than same period last year.
According to the joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), local auto makers sold a total of 30,998 units last month or 5,199 units more than April’s record of 25,799 units.
CAMPI President, Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, attributed this double-digit sales growth to recovery the long holidays in April, strong promotional campaigns and new model launches that auto companies announced in time for the summer season and the national elections.
“More than a slight positive uptick, May 2019 saw double-digit growth reminiscent of the auto industry’s impressive performance from two years ago. If this trend continues, we can say that the market has already adjusted or even recovered from certain factors that have been affecting car sales since 2018,” Gutierrez said.
Commercial vehicle sales reached 21,945 units at 21 percent improvement versus April, with Category II as main volume contributor.
Top three brands with highest sales remain to be Toyota Motor Philippines with 13,889 units sold, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 5,075 units sold, and Nissan Philippines Inc. with 3,840 units sold.
Passenger Car, which has been expectedly affected by the growth momentum of CV’s popularity, also showed signs of a strong comeback by selling 9,053 units in May for 18.17 percrnt higher than April’s 7,661 units.
Aside from aggressive marketing and promotional campaigns from auto manufacturers and various financing options, some economic indicators also point to a possible friendlier environment for the local auto market. Both inflation and interest rates appear to be stable for the first half of the year.
On a year-to-date basis, CAMPI members sold a total of 142,185 units, same level as January to May 2018 sales of 142,240 units. “At the start of the year, we saw a big gap in sales versus last year. As we move forward, we can see positive signs of recovery. Our May YTD sales is already at par with last year’s figures. With stable economic trends, we are optimistic to end the year with market growth,” added Gutierrez.