PH auto sales plunge 40% in 2020

Published January 15, 2021, 6:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Philippines’ motor vehicle sales in 2020 plunged 39.56 percent to 275,512 units as against 457,110 units in 2019, according to combined sales date of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) and the all-importers group Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID).

 Based on their respective reports, CAMPI-TMA, which is composed of manufacturers and importers, said they were able to sell 223,793 units or 39.5 percent lower from 369,941 units in 2019.

For its part, AVID reported a significant 41 percent drop as it sold only 51,719 units in 2020 compared to the 87,169 vehicles sold in 2019. AVID attributed this decline to the lockdowns, limited economic activity, and weak consumer demand.    

Despite the sharp drop in both CAMPI-TMA and AVID, their combined sales still managed to surpass the industry’s sales goals of 240,000 units in 2020.

For CAMPI-TMA, their record showed that commercial vehicle segment suffered a 40.9 percent decline to 154,155 units from 260,744 units in 2019. The passenger car segment sold 69,638 units from 109,197 units or 36.2 percent decrease.

All categories of under the commercial vehicle segment were in the negative with the light commercial vehicle and light trucks posting deeper declines of 43.2 percent and 43.5 percent, respectively.

Sales of Asian utility vehicles also dropped by 28.8 percent while the trucks and buses dipped 40.8 percent for category IV and category V, respectively.

Most of the 24 members of CAMPI-TMA posted negative growth. Toyota Motor Philippines Corp sold 100,019 units followed by Mitsubishi with 37,366 units and Nissan Philippines Inc. with 21,751 units.

Despite the decline in sales in 2020 due to the pandemic, CAMPI President Rommel Gutierrez expressed optimism for a recovery in 2021.

He noted that the double-digit growth of 19.1 percent in December is a positive development for the industry as the industry exerts efforts to reach pre-pandemic performance levels. 

Meanwhile, AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said “Automotive was among the hard hit sectors in this pandemic and we continue to feel the impact as sales, after-sales and auto-related services remain lackluster. Despite the hurdles, the industry quickly adapted to the new normal, survived, and are finally seeing some signs of revival. However, we see more headwinds in the coming months.”

She said that vehicle importers and consumers will soon feel the impact of the additional P70,000.00 tariff for passenger cars  and P110,000.00 for Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV).

According to AVID, their passenger segment sales got severely affected by the pandemic dipping by around 46% in 2020 with only 16,588 units sold in 2020. Hyundai reported the most number of sales in this segment with a total of 8,464 units sold followed by Suzuki with 6,177 units and Ford with 1,005 units.

The LCV segment also recorded a substantial decrease in 2020 with 34,826 units sold equivalent to a 38% drop compared to the same period last year. Ford continues to be at the top of this segment with 13,770 units sold while Suzuki holds second place with 9,338 units, followed by Hyundai with 7,882 units sold since the start of the year.

In the Commercial Vehicles (CV) segment, AVID recorded a total of 305 units sold for the 2020, or a 66% decline in sales compared to the 907 units sold in 2019.

“While the worst may be behind us, we still have a long way to go. If we are to restore consumer confidence and revive this sector, we should focus on creating more job opportunities, upgrade infrastructure and logistics, and improve the ease and cost of doing business. We are all for the long-term development of the auto industry in the new normal,” Agudo added.