Two months before the pandemic year 2020 ends, motor vehicle sales still remained at negative 42 percent although the month of October already posted a modest 2 percent growth.
Data from the joint Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.-Truck Manufacturers Association (CAMPI-TMA) sales report showed sales in the January-October period reached 173,035 units, reflecting a 42.7 percent down from 301,761 units in the same first ten months last year.
Based on the report, the January-November sales figure was pulled down by both commercial and passenger car segments, which fell 43.2 percent and 41.3 percent, respectively.
On a monthly basis, October sales improved by a modest 2 percent to 25,023 units versus the previous month September, but still 27.3 percent behind the 34,397 units sold in October last year.
Of the 24 car firms, only five firms posted positive growth led by Berjaya Auto Asia, Inc., Dreamco Automotive Co., Inc., CMANC, IKK Ichigan Inc., and MAN Automotive Concessionaires Corp.
Industry leader Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) Corp. still down 42.7 percent with sales of 74,848 units from 130,520 units in the same first ten months last year.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. also at 41.9 percent behind with 29,950 units sold from 51,515 units while Nissan Philippines Inc. at higher decline of 51.1 percent with sales of only 17,931 units from 36.677 units in the same period last year.
Suzuki Phils. Inc. climbed to finish fourth among industry players with sales of 12,321 units although still down by 37.3 percent from 19,648 units last year. The only American car firm in the top five was Ford Motor Company Philippines Inc., which sold 11,507 units but 36.2 percent lower than 18,023 units sold last year.
CAMPI President Rommel Gutierrez said this tepid growth is still positive progress for the industry. CAMPI achieved its highest sales volume since the start of the pandemic. This is despite the overall negative consumer and business confidence outlook for the fourth quarter.
“We are on track to achieve our revised sales forecast of 240,000 units – the baseline for our medium-term recovery plan,” Gutierrez added.
The pandemic-induced industry crisis was also an opportune time for CAMPI to take advantage in its lobby against the pending petition to impose safeguard duty on imported motor vehicles.
Gutierrez said the industry still remained very cautious about its industry outlook. This is considering the pending safeguard investigation on imported automobiles, which may soon be decided upon by the Department of Trade and Industry.
”The industry is in a very vulnerable state right now and the imposition of safeguard measure will only limit our ability to navigate the crisis,” said Gutierrez.