Auto industry sales off to a good start in January

Published February 12, 2021, 6:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The auto industry started the year on a good footing with sales in the first month reaching 23,380 units, just 1.4 percent shy of the January 2020 figure, a joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed.

“While this January 2021 sales are still 1.4 percent less than the same month last year with 23,723 units sold, the slight decrease is still considered a positive sign that the industry is slowly recovering,” CAMPI-TMA said in the report. The January 2021 sales also registered a 15 percent decrease against December 2020 sales of 27,596 units.

Commercial vehicle (CV) continued to dominate the market share with a total share of 68.80 percent with the remaining 31.20 percent share by the passenger car (PC) segment. The CV sales performance reflects the continuous trend of the market preference shifting to larger vehicles.

Notably, the PC segment led the sales growth with 11.5 percent increase for total sales of 7,295 units while the overall CV segment declined by 6.4 percent to 16,085 units although it still accounts for majority of sales.

Sales of Asian utility vehicles (AUV) registered the biggest increase among the CV categories. AUV sales jumped 25.8 percent to 3,118 units from 2,479 units in January 2020. The other CV category that saw improvement in sales was trucks and buses (category IV) with sales of 242 units or 3.9 percent more than January 2020.

Sales of light commercial vehicles went down 11.9 percent to 12,318 units from 13,988 units while sales of Category V trucks and buses also declined by 35.7 percent with only 74 units sold from 115 in January last year.

Despite the good start, CAMPI President Atty. Rommel R. Gutierrez remains cautiously optimistic about the coming months. “The pandemic still poses a challenge to the automotive industry.  We are also monitoring how the market will react with the imposition of the provisional safeguard duties starting February, which could potentially impact on the prices of imported motor vehicles,” Gutierrez said.