Latest data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation showed the country posted the second largest drop in vehicle sales among eight economies in the region monitored from January to April this year.
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Philippines is 2nd worst auto market in 4 months
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Vehicle manufacturers have cut production by over a third as the Philippines slid to being the second worst performer in Southeast Asia in the first four months of the year.

Latest data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation showed the country posted the second largest drop in vehicle sales among eight economies in the region monitored from January to April this year.

It was a total reversal for the local automotive industry compared to the same period last year where it was the second fastest growing market in Southeast Asia.

Vehicle sales in the Philippines recorded a 9.3 percent decline during the four-month period which was credited mostly to the new tax reform law that imposed higher excise taxes on automobiles.

Preventing the Philippines from becoming the worst performer in the region was Singapore, which saw sales plunge 19.8 percent year-on-year.

With the persisting lower demand, manufacturers in the country have significantly cut production, data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation showed.

Vehicle production in the country fell 34.5 percent to 31,064 units in the first four months of the year, from 47,392 units in the same period last year.

The Philippines was the only market with significant local production in the region that registered a decline for the period.

Production in Thailand, the region’s hub, grew 11.3 percent year-on-year to 674,469 units, while Indonesia and Malaysia posted 6.8 percent and 12.7 percent increase to 446,855 units and 198,053 units, respectively.

Vehicle production in Vietnam also improved 1.2 percent year-on-year to 65,977 units.

Automotive manufacturing is among the 12 major industries that is being prioritized under the country’s new industrial development plan called the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, or the i3S. 

Major manufacturers in the country such as Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. have already invested a total of P10.7 billion so far in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence (CARS) Program.

Both Toyota and Mitsubishi said while the industry continues to face challenges, they are optimistic in complying with the requirements of the CARS program and hope that government authorities and the industry will find a “workable balance” to support the program and at the same time generate much needed revenues in the wake of the second phase of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

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