Imported vehicle sales fall 49% in January to August
In a statement yesterday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. said it sold 29,360 units from January to August, down from the 57,202 units in the same period last year.
STAR/Michael Varcas, file
Imported vehicle sales fall 49% in January to August
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sales of imported vehicles slid 49 percent in the eight months to August this year as demand remained weak amid the mobility restraints due to lockdowns implemented to address the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement yesterday, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) said it sold 29,360 units from January to August, down from the 57,202 units in the same period last year.

Passenger car (PC) sales declined 51 percent to 9,755 units from 20,073 units the previous year.

Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales also decreased 47 percent to 19,412 units from 36,488 units last year.

CV sales posted a bigger drop of 70 percent to 193 units from 641 units a year ago.

In August alone, AVID’s total sales dipped seven percent to 4,753 units from 5,100 units in July.

AVID’s PC sales were up six percent to 1,865 units in August from 1,764 units in July.

The group’s CV sales jumped 95 percent to 37 units in August from 19 units in July.

LCV sales, on the other hand, were reduced by 14 percent to 2,851 units in August from 3,317 units in July.

“There are encouraging indicators of a sustained recovery for auto with the gradual reopening of businesses. Still, we remain vigilant since a key aspect of the industry’s revival is the restoration of consumer confidence through strict health and safety guidelines and rapid digital transformation. These ensure the well-being of our stakeholders, continuity of operations, and preservation of livelihood,” AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

Given the impact of the pandemic on vehicle demand and the automotive industry, she said the proposal to impose safeguard measures on imported vehicles is a concern.

A probe is being conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry on the petition for the imposition of safeguard measures on vehicle imports filed by the Philippine Metalworkers Alliance. The group claimed the surge in vehicles entering the country has limited the opportunities for local production.

“Prior to the lockdowns, we have conveyed our position that penalizing imports will not trigger investments nor address pressing issues faced by the local manufacturing sector. Rather, it is a disruptive measure which will further inhibit the growth of the automotive industry and reduce our competitiveness in the region,” Agudo said.

“We welcome government initiatives that further open opportunities for investment, create jobs for our workers, provide reliable and affordable mobility for Filipinos,” she said.

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