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Philippine car sales up 12% in Jan-Sept 2008

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October 9, 2008

Philippine car sales up 12% in Jan-Sept 2008

Vehicle sales in the Philippines grew by 12 percent in the January-September period this year over that of the same period last year defying market declines in most countries, a local daily quoted the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) as reporting.

CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee said that overall sales in the first nine months this year reached 94,131 units versus 84,048 units sold in the same period last year.

"So far, the industry is on target to reach the forecast of 125,000 units for 2008. On the contrary, most countries experience a drastic decline in auto sales," Lee said.

Of the total sales, the commercial vehicle segment sold a total of 60,438 units, which is 10.5 percent higher than the same period last year.

The passenger vehicle segment contributed a total of 33,693 units or 14.8 percent higher than the 29,359 units sold in the same period last year.

"Recent model launches have likewise helped boost sales. Buyers can take advantage of remaining limited vehicle inventories with lower prices while players slowly start to increase car prices reflective of the higher global raw material and logistics costs. Increases in car prices have been held off since early this year," Lee said.

On a month-to-date basis, Lee reported that September proved to be a better month than August, registering a 10.4 percent growth over the previous seasonally low ‘ghost’ month.

The industry sold a total of 10,937 units for the month of September- still higher than the 2007 average of about 9800 units per month.

Although fuel prices are higher relative to the same period last year, she said, the recent decline in oil prices provided a respite for motorists and buyers alike.

Oil prices have declined more than 30 percent against the high of over 0 per barrel of crude oil, she said.

According to Lee, fleet sales deliveries, timely stock arrivals and new models introduced helped boost sales in the segment.

Sales of the popular multi-use vans, pick ups and AUVs remain the backbone of commercial vehicle sales. It is forecasted that sales will continue to grow in the coming months with the bulk of purchases expected over the festive season.

The strongest singular segment growth was posted in the LCV (light commercial vehicle) segment with a 19.4 percent growth in September versus August.

Overall LCV sales continue to be strong with a 12.9 percent growth overall year to date.

LCV sales, with vans and pick ups in particular, reflect the sustained trend of the Filipino buyer’s preference for multipurpose vehicles used for both personal and business use.

Sales in the LCV segment, (pickups, vans, compact & full- size SUVs) showed an overall growth of 12.9 percent compared to the same January-September last year.

For the month of September 2008, sales of LCVs posted a 19.4 percent increase compared to August 2008 because of promos and new models introduced.

Year-to-date light trucks sales decreased by 4.5 percent compared to the same period January-September period last year.

On a month-to-date, sales decreased by 17.0 percent versus August 2008 due to unavailability of stocks

Year-to-date sales posted a 12.5 percent growth compared to the same January-September period last year primarily sustained by the sales of front engine bus models.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp continues to top sales so far with its 34,113 units sold in the first nine months of this year, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp with 12,806 units, and Honda Cars Philippines Inc with 11,109.

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