August vehicle sales down


A car showroom of Toyota in Metro Manila (AFP FILE PHOTO)

Vehicle sales dropped 14.1 percent in August, a slower decline from the previous month as the market starts to show signs of improvement, data showed.

Sales fell to 30,313 units that month, lower than the 35,309 units vehicle manufacturers sold in August last year.

Despite the drop, this is slower than the 24.1-percent year-on-year decline in July, which marked the steepest fall in sales so far.

This was according to the joint data of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) released on Wednesday.

The industry has been struggling to cope with the impact of the TRAIN law, the first tax package passed under the Duterte administration that slapped higher excise tax rates on most cars.

Eight months under the weight of the law, it remains to be seen when the industry will be able to reverse the trend of falling sales, which began in February.

In  a statement, Campi said the industry was still optimistic that  vehicle sales will continue to pick up throughout the last quarter of the year, citing the upcoming 7th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) that could help boost sales.

Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said vehicle sales in August were boosted by intensive promotional campaigns and new model launches.

“Coming from a double-digit decline in July, our August sales performance is an indication of improving consumer confidence,” he said.

The groups also noted their month-on-month performance, after August sales also grew 8.1 percent to the sales in July this year.

In the first eight months of the year, sales dropped 14.3 percent to 229,941 units from 268,424 units.

Passenger cars dropped 22.9 percent to 8,678 units in August, lower than the 11,258 units sold in the same period last year.

The segment dropped 21.4 percent in the first eight months of the year, selling 71,637 units from 91,139 units in the comparative period a year ago.

Commercial vehicles also dropped, a 10-percent decline to 21,635 units in August from the 24,051 units sold in the same month last year.

From January to August, the segment, which accounted for more than 66 percent of the market, dropped 10.7 percent to 158,304 units from 177,285  units previously.

In the first eight months of the year, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. is still the dominant player in the market despite an 18.3-percent drop in sales.

It has a market share of 42 percent.

It is followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with a 19.26-percent market share, despite a 6.7-percent drop in sales from January to August.

Nissan Philippines, Inc. comes in third with a 8.95- percent market share, boosted by a 36.7-percent increase in sales. –By: Roy Stephen C. Canivel

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