Local auto industry posts record high sales in April

Published May 11, 2021, 4:16 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The automotive industry posted a gargantuan 13,315 percent year-on-year increase in sales in April, the highest sales growth ever in the domestic industry’s history, but only because April 2020 was the height of the first lockdown where all businesses practically stood still.

A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed total vehicle sales for April 2021 reached 17,843 units translating to a mammoth  13,315 percent increase from the 133 units sold in April 2020. 

It could be recalled that the first enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) took effect on March 16, 2020. 

Naturally, all industry segments posted positive in April compared to April 2020 sales. Commercial vehicles contributed 12,273 units with light commercial vehicles  (LCVs) generating the most number of sales with 9,546 units, while the passenger segment sold 5,570 units. 

However, when compared to the previous month, March, the April performance, including all market segments, was still all in the red territory.

What is more important though is the year to date figure where automotive sales, in all segments, posted high double-digit growth. 

In the first four months this year, motor vehicle sales grew 36.3 percent to 88,155 units from 64,675 units in the same period last year.

Of this figure, sales in the passenger car segment jumped 54 percent 27,425 units versus 17,812 units in the same first four months of 2020.

The commercial vehicle segment grew 29.6 percent with total sales of 60,730 units as against 46,863 units in the same period last year. 

All other categories posted positive growth led by large trucks (Category V) with 79.3 percent growth for selling 434 units from only 242 in the January-April last year.

Sales of Asian utility vehicles also grow 33.5 percent to 11,747 units from 8,799 units last year while the LCVs or the sports utility vehicles sold 45,976 units from 35,986 units last year.

Light trucks (pick-up) sales grew 38.4 percent o 1,546 units from 1,117 units, while trucks and buses (Category IV) went up 42.8 percent to 1,027 units from 719 units sold in the first four months last year.

MB file

Among car companies, Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. sold a total of 41,737   units followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines WITH 13,696 units, and Ford Motor Philippines with 6,562 units.  

CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez said that this is a record year-on-year sales increase since the advent of the pandemic. The industry anticipated this recovery after the auto sales was severely hit by the pandemic in the same month last year – the sharpest decline in the history of Philippine automotive. “Additionally, tighter bank lending continues to dampen the demand for consumer spending especially for big-ticket items like auto amid the pandemic.

The additional deposit due to safeguard measure is burdensome in itself to consumers and industry alike,” he added.