476,000 cars in 2017: Auto sales push industry past target


Figuring out how many motor vehicles were actually sold in a given year is tricky by the fact that two players are members of both the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi) and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid).

Both Campi and Avid include the year-to-date (YTD) sales figures of Ford Motor Philippines and Suzuki Philippines, Inc. in summing up their annual total vehicle sales reports.

To avoid reaching a wrong YTD sales report for the entire auto industry, it is necessary to subtract the sales figures of Ford and Suzuki from the report of either Campi or Avid.

Since Campi together with the Truck Manufacturers Association was the first to release its YTD sales report this January, it seems logical to keep the sales data of Ford and Suzuki intact in the Campi-TMA joint report.

Campi and TMA claimed that 425,673 units were sold YTD in the January-December 2017 period, an 18.4 percent growth over 2016’s 359,572 units sold.

It exceeded their target of 400,500 units, but failed to hit the whole industry target of 450,000 units.

This, despite the 33.4 percent surge in sales in December 2017 to 45,494 units compared to 34,104 of the same month in 2016, thanks to consumer attempts to avoid the higher excise tax of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The Campi report nevertheless hinted that Avid’s sales in 2017 would supply the needed digits to achieve or surpass the 450,000 industry target.

Avid delivers

Last Monday, Avid reported sales breaching the 100,000 mark in 2017 by posting 106,286 units sold, 14 percent higher than the 93,192 units sold in 2016.

But if we subtract the sales figures of Ford totaling 36,623 units and Suzuki’s 19,263 units sold from the 106,286 Avid total sum, it goes down to 50,400 units.

That’s lower than Avid’s 2016 total sum, but it’s still five digits. When added to Campi’s 425,673 sales in 2017, the industry’s grand total hits 476,073 units, exactly 26,073 units more than the 450,000 target.

Top 10

Using both Campi and Avid sales reports for 2017 as sources, the top 10 performers are indicated in the table on this page.

Kudos to Bermaz Auto Philippines, Inc., the importer and distributor of Mazda cars, for making it to the top 10 for the first time.

Mazda dislodged Kia from 10th place due to the big drop in Kia sales totaling 2,118 units in 2017.

The problem of Columbian Autocar Corporation, the distributor of Kia, may have been insufficient stock to meet market demand.

The industry buzz is that Columbian Autocar is up for sale—if it hasn’t been sold already.

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. once again retains third place with record high sales of 37,678 units, topping Ford’s 36,623 via a solid 1,055 more units sold.

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. overtook Isuzu Philippines Corporation to gain entry to the magic 5.

HCPI markets 14 models, including the recently launched BR-V, while Isuzu offers only two models, the mu-X and D-Max, both of which are pickup platform vehicles.

Nissan Philippines, Inc. posted the biggest jump in sales by selling 24,995 units in 2017 compared to 16,897 in 2016.

The Urvan, Almera, Navara and Juke are selling well.

Ford Motor Company Philippines manages to stay in the magic 5 by aggressively marketing the EcoSport, Everest and Ranger.

But Ford badly needs to improve sales of its passenger cars like the Focus and Fiesta.

Toyota remains the most popular and trusted brand in the country.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) offers something for everyone, ranging from the tiny Wigo to the Innova, Fortuner, Corolla, Camry, Land Cruiser and Hiace Super Grandia.

Vios, Toyota’s signature subcompact, continues to reign as the best-selling motor car in the Philippines, across all vehicle segments.

In 2017, TMP increased its market share to 43.2 percent by selling a grand total of 183,908 units, up from 158,728 in 2016.

TRAIN and 2018 sales forecast

But with the higher excise tax imposed on new automobiles by the TRAIN law, TMP does not expect to push total sales further to 200,000 units in 2018.

TMP 1st vice president Rommel Gutierrez, the concurrent head of Campi, said: “We ended 2017 with a positive note. While exceeding our sales target for the year, we remain cautious in our projections for 2018. (But) Campi remains confident that the market will be able to adjust to the new auto excise tax in 2018.”

Neither do the other top 10 performers expect to surpass their 2017 sales this year because of TRAIN, although they remain hopeful.

Avid president Ma. Fe Perez Agudo, who is concurrently president and CEO of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., said: “For the year ahead, we remain optimistic as we expect short-run market adjustments resulting from the TRAIN.

“Nevertheless, the new automotive landscape opens waves of opportunities for the luxury, e-vehicles and hybrid vehicles market.

“Thus, Avid will continue supporting efforts to sustain inclusive growth and build a positive environment for business.”

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