By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The ASEAN automotive industry is experiencing a downturn both in production and sales with major countries including the Philippines posting declines, data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation showed.
For the month of August alone, regional car sales fell 10.3 percent to 282,930 units from 315,483 units in August last year.
Indonesia, the biggest ASEAN market posted an 11.5 percent decline from 102,197 units to 90,443 units in August. Thailand also fell 6.9 percent to 80,938 units from 81,946 units in August 2018.
Malaysia suffered a deeper cut with 22 percent negative growth from 65,550 units to 51,148 units in the month of August alone.
Philippines, the fourth biggest market in the region tempered its decline by 2.4 percent to 29,599 units from 30,313 units in August last year.
Smaller ASEAN markets, however, experienced robust sales with Brunei increasing by 19.8 percent in August, Myanmar with 17 percent growth, and Vietnam with 3.9 percent increase. Singapore suffered a 12.9 percent decline.
In terms of production, most ASEAN countries also posted negative growth or flat growth.
For instance, Thailand, the Detroit of ASEAN being the production hub of most car companies, registered an 8.2 percent negative growth in production to 166,361 units from 181,237 units in August last year.
Indonesia, the second biggest producer in ASEAN, had flat growth at 110,697 units produced in August. Malaysia also reported total production of 47,000 units in August, a flat growth compared to the same month last year.
Despite its Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, car production in the Philippines dropped by 5.4 percent to 8,306 units only in August from 8,782 units in the same month last year.
The biggest production cut in August was reported by Vietnam with 26.9 percent to 10,848 units from 14,842 units.
In terms of motorcycle and scooters sales, ASEAN countries registered a dramatic 63.6 percent decline to 330,775 units from 908,464 units largely because Indonesia did not report any sales for the month. In August last year, Indonesia sold 588,058 units of motorcycles.
Thailand sales also suffered a 4.7 percent decrease to 149,421 units from 156,866 units.
Sales in the Philippines slowed down by 5.7 percent tot 131,198 units from 138,077 units in August last year.
Malaysia and Singapore posted positive growths at 11.8 percent and 53.3 percent, respectively.
In terms of motorcycle production, Malaysia reported the biggest increase of 23.6 percent having produced 49,082 units of motorcycles and scooters in August this year from 39,710 units in August last year. Thailand declined its production by 9.3 percent to 156,488 units from 172,576 units.
The Philippines also slowed down its production by 1.4 percent to 100,840 units from 102,266 units.