Sign of recovery? Philippine car sales inch up in April

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THERE is no pattern that can be discerned yet. This is according to Rommel Gutierrez, president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), regarding domestic sales of vehicles this year.

The executive, also a first vice-president at Toyota Motor Philippines, made the observation ahead of the release on Tuesday of CAMPI’s and the Truck Manufacturers Association’s (TMA) joint report on vehicle deliveries for April.

Latest figures showed sales of the groups’ member companies rose 0.8% in April, or 25,799 vehicles against the 25,853 units sold during the comparable month in 2018. But the performance in April is 19.8% less from the previous month.

“Sales… remain erratic on a monthly basis, but we expect [a] positive growth trend on a yearly basis… in the coming months,” Gutierrez said.

The auto industry’s slight uptick in results last month was lifted by a 15.7% increase in sales of commercial vehicles, or 18,138 units versus the 15,673 units delivered in April 2018. In contrast, sales of passenger cars dipped 22.7% to 7,661 units in the same month compared to 9,910 units a year ago.

The performance of CAMPI and TMA in the first four months of the year declined 0.4% as the companies recorded 111,187 vehicles sold for the period this year. In 2018 the groups sold 111,620 vehicles.

Deliveries of commercial vehicles grew 6.3% this year at 77,354 units compared to 72,803 units over the same four-month stretch in 2018. Passenger car sales decreased 12.8% with 33,833 units sold this year against 38,817 units sold last year.

The top seller in the domestic auto industry remain to be Toyota Motor Philippines as it delivered 44,997 vehicles from January to April. Following Toyota is Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Philippines with 20,754 units sold, and Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 13,348 units sold. Nissan’s result is nearly 70% higher than the company’s figures last year. Toyota’s and Mitsubishi’s were 4.9% and 6.0% less, respectively.

Another local auto industry group, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, reports its sales performance separately.



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