PH lags in ASEAN auto production, sales

Published April 20, 2021, 7:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Major motor vehicle producers and markets in ASEAN started 2021 with 13.8 percent reduction in production and 17.5 percent decline in sales in the first month of the year compared to January 2020 with the Philippines lagging behind its peers, data showed. 

The ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) said in its report that the six major motor vehicle producing countries in the region were able to produce 288,784 units in January or 13.8 percent lower than the 335,031 units in January 2020. 

In terms of sales, AAF said that 7 Asean countries have registered combined sales of 200,200 units in January this year or 17.5 percent lower than the 242,669 units in the same month last year.

Myanmar, which is still battling political and military woes and is not a major vehicle producer in the region, understandably registered the lowest locally produced number of vehicles of 806 units only for 44.8 percent down from 1,459 units in January 2020.

But the Philippines, despite its Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy was able to produce 5,182 units only or 39.9 percent lower than the 8,616 units in January 2020. 

Among ASEAN car producing countries, only Vietnam posted positive growth of 81.7 percent albeit with small volume of 19,284 units from 10,616 units the country locally produced in 2020. 

Thailand, the region’s car manufacturing hub, decreased its production by 5.2 percent to 148,118 units from 156,266 units in January this year. Indonesia, ASEAN’s largest market, reduced production by 32.8 percent to only 75,728 units from 112,658 units in January 2020.

Malaysia was able to produce 39,666 units only or 12.7 percent down from 45,416 units in January 2020. 

Similarly, Vietnam also registered the highest sales growth of 68.9 percent to 26,432 units from 15,649 units in January 2020. This was followed by Myanmar with 25.2 percent increase in sales to 2,542 units from 2,029 units and Singapore with 11.2 percent growth to 6,900 units from 6,203 units in January last year. 

The decline in sales in the Philippines was only a moderate 1.4 percent to 23,380 units from 23,723 units in the first month of 2020.

Auto sales in Thailand registered a 23 percent decline to 55,208 units from 71,688 units while Indonesia’s sales went down by 34.2 percent to 52,910 units from 80,435 in January 2020, and Malaysia’s sales reduce by 23.6 percent to 32,829 units from 42,942 units same month last year.