AVID sales fall 55% in H1 despite strong June pick-up

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Sales of imported vehicles accelerated in June as the country transitioned into a more relaxed quarantine phase, but this was not enough to offset a huge drop in total sales during the first six months of the year.

In a report released yesterday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) said sales in June nearly tripled to 3,697 units from just 1,239 units in May, with demand in all segments (passenger car or PC, commercial vehicle or CV and light commercial vehicle or LCV) growing from nearly three times to four-fold.

AVID sold 1,199 PCs in June, 239 percent higher than the 354 units in May. LCV sales reached 2,462, a 181 percent growth month-on-month from 876 units, while CV sales surged 300 percent to 36 units from just nine units.

But despite the huge improvement month-on-month, vehicle importers still registered a 55 percent drop in sales in the first semester from a year ago amid the temporary closure of dealerships during the lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

AVID said it sold 19,455 units in the January to June period, lower than the 43,082 units sold in the same period last year as dealerships had to be closed when the government implemented an enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19.

AVID’s PC sales fell 60 percent to 6,111 units in the first half of the year from 15,279 units the previous year. LCV sales declined 52 percent to 13,207 units in the first six months of the year from 27,300 units a year ago, while CV sales posted a 73 percent drop to 137 units as of end-June from 503 units last year.

AVID said it remains watchful of factors that may continue to dampen automotive sales in the coming months.

“While AVID members and their partner dealerships have gone to great lengths to COVID-proof their facilities, strengthen online e-commerce assets, and offer extraordinary promotions and deals to win back customers and encourage buying, headwinds remain. These include lower remittances, weaker demand, and the prospect of a second wave, so we can’t let our guard down,” AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

As AVID members are implementing measures for the new way of doing business given the pandemic, she said the group also continues to work with government to respond to the pandemic.

“This is not the industry’s first crisis, but it is surely the most challenging. We can’t face it alone, so we are closely working with government and other stakeholders to help contain this pandemic while gradually reviving the industry in a safe and sustainable manner. Mobility is key to driving the economy forward and a stronger AVID, within and beyond this pandemic, will definitely play a key role,” she said.

Earlier, she said AVID expects total automotive industry sales to decline by 40 percent this year due to disruptions caused by the health crisis.

Last year, total automotive industry sales of AVID and the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. reached more than 410,000 units.

AVID alone sold a total of 87,984 units last year, slightly lower than the 88,430 units sold in 2018.

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