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Freeman Cebu Business

Good economic prospects seen to increase car sales

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippine’s promising economic prospects has prompted luxury car brand BMW to intensify its leadership in this particular car segment and improve its sales in the coming years.

“Most Filipinos only know BMW as a luxury brand, but they are not familiar with the vehicle’s unique and special features, said Seng Thiew Seow, BMW dealership vice president for Visayas and Mindanao.

According to Seow there is still a big opportunity for the brand to make significant presence in the Philippines as the affluent market is growing, and people now are more sophisticated when it comes to buying cars. 

BMW is consistently on the top list of luxury car brands among Filipinos and Seow is confident that the number of units disposed yearly could move up, as the market interest become much active now.

In Cebu, the brand sold around 70 units in 2013, making it as one of the top performing markets of BMW, outside Metro Manila, Seow said.

Overall, BMW sold a total of 653 units in the Philippines last year. Seow is optimistic that the performance will improve in the next few years, as BMW will also be introducing top-of-the-line models to the market.

He admitted though that the government’s strict tax policy is one of the factors that slow down the sales movement of the brand in the Philippines, compared to other Asian countries.

He said there are a lot of Filipinos who can afford to buy the car but are often discouraged to finally purchase such luxurious brand due to some BIR regulations.

The Philippines came in weaker in terms of sales movement compared to its neighboring countries in southeast Asia, Seow said.

In the Philippines, BMW has eight dealership networks, three of which are in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Bacolod.

According to Seow, the company hopes to increase its sales with the newly launched  BMW X series, which the Cebu showroom is offering.

The X series features three sports activity vehicles and two sports activity coupés. Seow said that unlike sport utility vehicles, these models were designed to run like a car.

Based on report from Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers of the Philippines,  the Truck Manufacturers Association and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), the cumulative growth of the Philippine auto industry  is rated at 29.5 percent as of July this year, compared to the same period last year.

The industry was able to register 23,741 units in July 2014 as opposed to 18,332 units sold in July 2013 (+5,409 units, 29.5 percent growth).

According to the report, in the luxury sector, BMW still leads the way at 60 units followed by Lexus at 44 units and Mercedes-Benz at 25 units. The PGA Cars group reported 20 units total, while Mini sold a total of 17 units. (FREEMAN)

BMW

CEBU

CHAMBER OF AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS OF THE PHILIPPINES

FILIPINOS AND SEOW

IN CEBU

IN THE PHILIPPINES

METRO MANILA

MOST FILIPINOS

SENG THIEW SEOW

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