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Car sales rise 88% in March
A joint report released yesterday showed combined sales of the CAMPI and Truck Manufacturers Association reached 20,702 units in March, overtaking the 11,029 units sold in the same month last year.
STAR/File

Car sales rise 88% in March

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - April 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) yesterday said sales rebounded in March with an 88 percent growth from the same month a year ago.

Compared to the previous month, however, vehicle sales declined by 21 percent.

A joint report released yesterday showed combined sales of the CAMPI and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reached 20,702 units in March, overtaking the 11,029 units sold in the same month last year.

This is the first time combined CAMPI and TMA monthly sales posted year-on-year growth since March last year when the government first imposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Passenger car (PC) sales more than doubled to 6,661 units in March from 3,150 units in the same month the previous year.

Commercial vehicle (CV) sales rose 78 percent to 14,041 units in March from 7,879 units a year ago.

While total vehicle sales increased year-on-year in March, it declined 21 percent from the 26,230 units sold in February.

CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez attributed the month-on-month sales decline to the twin blow faced by the industry.

In particular, sales have been affected by the imposition of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of provisional safeguard duties amounting to P70,000 for PC imports and P110,000 for light CVs brought in from overseas.

The provisional safeguard duties were imposed as the DTI found in its evaluation of a petition filed by the Philippine Metalworkers’ Alliance that higher vehicle imports were hurting the local motor vehicle manufacturing industry which has seen its market share, sales and employment decline.

While some of CAMPI’s members are engaged in local vehicle assembly operations, they also sell imported vehicles.

Gutierrez said the ECQ, which limited movement of individuals and restricted operations of automotive firms in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to address the surge in new COVID-19 cases, also affected vehicle sales.

“The auto industry felt the slowdown in sales due to the reluctance of buyers with the additional deposit for some imported vehicles because of the provisional safeguard duty.  The lockdown also forced dealers to close operations that badly hit the already struggling auto industry,” he said.

For the first quarter, total CAMPI and TMA sales reached 70,312 units, nine percent higher than the 64,542 units in the same period last year.

PC sales grew 23 percent to 21,855 units in the January to March period from 17,786 units in the previous year.

As of end-March, CV sales climbed four percent to 48,457 units from 46,756 units in the same period a year ago.

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