Sales of imported vehicles nearly flat in 2019

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Sales of imported vehicles fell by 0.5 percent in 2019, driven by lower demand in the passenger cars (PC) and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) said.

In a statement, AVID said a total of 87,984 units were sold in 2019, slightly lower than the 88,430 units sold the previous year.

The LCV segment posted the largest sales decline at 1.1 percent to 56,351 units from 56,999 units the year earlier.

Similarly, the PC segment declined by 0.5 percent to 30,726 units sold in 2019 from 30,876 units sold in 2018.

Hyundai still sold the most number of vehicles with a total of 17,761 units in 2019, followed by Suzuki with 8,621 units.

Meanwhile, the commercial vehicles (CV) segment recorded a 63 percent increase in sales or a total of 907 units in 2019.

Despite the full-year decline, AVID expressed optimism of higher sales this year, driven by the increase in sales posted in December 2019.

AVID sales grew 12 percent in December to 8,089 units sold.

“AVID’s performance in the last month of the year augurs well for the automotive industry as we begin the Year of the Metal Rat and the new decade,” AVID president and Hyundai Phl chief Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

“The continued easing of inflation rates, lower fuel prices, and increased government spending will only bolster sales for the group. We will complement these positive indicators with new models, value-packed service offerings, and easier ownership schemes,” she added.

Sales in the LCV segment grew six percent in December to 5,362 units sold.

The PC segment climbed five percent in December 2019 alone with 2,608 units versus the same period in 2018.

In addition, CV sales increased 98 percent in December with 119 units sold versus November 2019. This segment is dominated by Hyundai trucks and buses.

AVID said the large budget of the public works and highways department in the approved P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 would allow the industry to gain traction in the new decade with the help from its importers bringing in more models that meet the requirements of various markets.

“It is appropriate that the recent budget carries the theme ‘Continuing the journey to a more peaceful and progressive Philippines’ since it focuses on critical infrastructure, human capital development, and peace and order initiatives,” Agudo said.

“AVID hopes to contribute to this aim by giving offering better mobility solutions to both public and private for both the private and business sectors,” she added.

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