Online car portal sees rise in sales growth this year
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - January 18, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – An online car portal is keeping its projection that car sales will continue to grow this year after the auto industry hit its sales target in 2015.

"I have reasons to believe that the growth will continue," said Abhishek Mohan, new managing director of Carmudi Philippines, in an interview Friday.

Mohan cited the Philippines' young middle class population, low car ownership ratio and the growing economy as main driving factors of car sales.

"We believe these [factors], coupled with government policies such as the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) by the Department of Trade and Industry will make vehicles more affordable and also increase the contribution of the automotive industry, in employment terms," Mohan explained.

CARS  Program

Last January 15, the Board of Investments, a DTI-attached agency, started accepting applications for the CARS program which provides fiscal support for investments in the production of locally made car parts. Car and car parts manufacturers eligible for the program have 60 days to submit their applications starting Jan. 15.

"The CARS program targets to generate 200,000 new jobs, bring in fresh investments worth US$1.2 billion, stimulate local demand by increasing vehicle sales to US$9.2 billion, and effectively implement industry regulations that will revitalize the Philippine automotive industry," BoI earlier said in a statement.

The program aims for the resurgence of the car manufacturing sector and making the country as a regional auto manufacturing hub.

"The government is looking to bring back the assembly plants here and to increase the assembly capacity of the Philippines," Carmudi's Mohan noted.

Mohan further emphasized that with the impending change in administration, it is important for the government to maintain stable policy to bear good results of its programs like the CARS. "The government can only do so much especially that market conditions are good," he said.

The BoI said industry stakeholders project increased activities in the local auto parts making which currently employs some 70,000 workers.

"We are especially enthusiastic for small and medium enterprises in the car parts manufacturing sector that stand to benefit from the program," the BoI quoted its managing head, Dr. Ceferino Rodolfo, as saying.

2015  Sales

In 2015, car sales in the country grew 23 percent to 288,609 from 234,747 units in 2014, according to Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. And Truck Manufacturers Association.

Toyota Motor Philippines continued to lead with a 43.32 percent market share, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines (18.74 percent), Ford Motor Co. (8.79 percent), Isuzu Philippines (7.82 percent) and Honda Cars Philippines (6.69 percent). (FREEMAN)

ABHISHEK MOHAN BOARD OF INVESTMENTS CAR CARMUDI PHILIPPINES CHAMBER OF AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS OF THE PHILIPPINES INC COMPREHENSIVE AUTOMOTIVE RESURGENCE STRATEGY DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY DR. CEFERINO RODOLFO MOHAN PHILIPPINES QUOT
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