Automakers say 'on track' to goal despite October slowdown
The industry sold 25,023 units last month, a new pandemic peak, and up 2% month-on-month, a joint report from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association showed on Monday.
AFP/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul
Automakers say 'on track' to goal despite October slowdown
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - November 16, 2020 - 3:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — Car and truck manufacturers are keeping their optimism their moderated goal will be met this year even after sales slowed their growth in October.

The industry sold 25,023 units last month, a new pandemic peak, and up 2% month-on-month, a joint report from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association showed on Monday.

The monthly growth rate slowed from 37% expansion in previous month. Compared to same period a year ago, sales remained down for the eight straight month by 27.3%. With only 2 months left in 2020, producers are still confident the target of 240,000 cars and trucks will be sold this year.

“We are on track to achieve our revised sales forecast of 240,000 units - the baseline for our medium-term recovery plan,” CAMPI President Rommel Gutierrez said in a statement.

A slower pick up in car sales added to the latest gloom in the consumer-reliant economy which typically uses vehicle sales as a barometer of the economy’s health. Gross domestic product slumped 11.5% year-on-year in third quarter, and while the decline has slowed from previous 3 months, the double-digit drop was seen as sign a full rebound would take a while.

October sales reflected the first salvo for the final quarter of the year and because the trend does not look promising, Gutierrez said government plans to impose tariff protections on imported vehicles will not bode well for the struggling industry. While CAMPI members assemble some cars here, a new import levy would still hit them because some vehicle brands sold here are still shipped in.

“The industry is in a very vulnerable state right now and the imposition of safeguard measure will only limit our ability to navigate the crisis,” Gutierrez said.

Broken down by type of vehicle, light utility vehicles, including commuter vans and pick-ups, overtook commercial vehicles in terms of market share and accounted for the bulk of sales. Data showed 12,321 of this unit were sold last month, down 32.6% year-on-year and 0.9% from previous month. 

The segment accounted for 76.12% of total 10-month sales at 91,317, down 45.9% on-year.

Commercial cars, meanwhile, accounted for 64.08% and 69.33% of total sales in October and the first 10 months, respectively. While down 34.1% annually last month, this type of cars rose 0.4% month-on-month.

Commercial car sales sank 43.2% from January to October, data showed.

Passenger cars dipped 10.9% from previous year to 8,988 units last month, although October sales surged 5.05% from September. Since the start of the year, passenger vehicles sold 53,067 units, down 41.3% and cornering 30.67% of the market.

Among big sellers smaller Asian utility vehicles were last with 2,764 units sold, up 3.4% month-on-month but down 42.2% from same period a year ago. Figures showed 22,266 AUVs had been sold from January to October, down 28.5% year-on-year.

CAR SALES NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE ECONOMY
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