By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
The domestic motor vehicle industry closed the year 2019 ended up in just a modest growth with total sales of 369,941 units, reflecting a measly 3.5 percent increase from 357,410 units in 2018 as the much vaunted December purchases failed to give the much-needed boost in overall sales, a joint sales report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed.
Data showed that sales in December reached only 33,715 units or 5.5 percent higher from the 31,945 units sold in the same month last year.
For the overall CAMPI-TMA 2019 sales, the commercial vehicle segment continue to drive industry growth with total sales of 260,744 units or 5 percent higher than the 248,390 units in 2018.
The commercial vehicle segment also raised its market share to 70.48 percent from 69.5 percent in 2018.
Among the five categories under commercial vehicle segment, three categories posted negative. The Asian utility vehicle (AUV) segment dropped its sales by 15.4 percent to 40,838 units sold as against 48,271 units last year.
Sales of the categories 4 and 5 of trucks and buses also posted negative. Category 4 of the trucks and buses went down by 5.9 percent to 4,779 units from 5,076 units last year while category 5 dramatically decreased by 29.4 percent to 1,407 units from 1,994 units in 2018.
Meantime, the passenger car segment improved by a measly .2 percent to 109,187 units from 109,020 units in 2018 or a declining share at 29.52 percent.
For the month of December alone, overall CAMPI-TMA sales increased by 5.5 percent compared to December 2018. But compared to the previous month, November (34,465 units), sales ended 2.2 percent lower.
Likewise, the December sales for passenger, commercial, AUVs category 5 of trucks and buses were lower compared to the previous month’s performance. For instance, passenger car sales in December was only 9,246 units or 3.19 percent lower than the 9,551 units sold in November. Commercial vehicle sales in December also declined by 1.8 percent with sales of 24,469 units from 24,914 in November.
December sales of AUVs substantially dropped by 15.2 percent to 4,457 units as against 5,253 units in November.
Category 5 of trucks and buses also posted a negative 18.1 percent decline to 118 units from 144 in November. The category’s December sales was also 18.6 percent lower compared to December 2018 sales.
Among the 24 car firm members of CAMPI-TMA, Toyota Motor Philippines contributed the bulk of sales with 162,011 units or 43.79 percent market share. It also posted a 5.9 percent increase in sales compared to 153,004 units sold in 2018.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. closed the year with a negative 5.1 percent with sales reaching only 64,065 units from 67,512 units in 2018.
Third was Nissan Philippines Inc. with a substantial increase of 22.2 percent having sold 42,694 units from 34,952 units in 2018.
Suzuki Philippines Inc. ended at fourth place eith 23,919 units sold or 21.2 percent higher than its 19,740 units sold in 2018.
Other big brands posted declines including Ford Motor Co. Phils. Inc with sales dropping by 7.1 percent yo 21,900 units. Honda Cars Philippines Inc. also dropped its sales by 12.7 percent to 20,338 units while Isuzu Philippines Corp. posted a negative 16.5 percent to 13,971 units.
Notably, bigger sales increases were registered by smaller car companies. Adventure Cycle Philippines posted a 124.3 percent increase followed by SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp. with 79 percent; Columbian Motors Corp. With 28.2 percent; Coventry Motors Corp. with 28.2 percent; Auto Nation Group Inc. with 19 percent; and Universal Motors Corp. with 11 percent.
CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez said that ending the year with positive figure is a welcome relief for the industry coming from a double-digit decline the previous year.
“The year 2019 has been challenging for the industry due to various internal and external factor,” he said adding the industry would aim for higher growth in the coming months, and for the whole of 2020.
Gutierrez noted that the automotive industry remains optimistic in reaching its overall sales target of 410,000 units for 2019 once the sales report from the all-importers group Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) Inc. comes in.