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NEWS UPDATES 9 July 2009

Philippines car sales down 2.8% in H1

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Car sales in the Philippines dropped 2.8 percent to 59,910 units during the first six months of 2009, which is seen as minimal despite the global financial crisis, reported a local news website.

Business Mirror, quoting figures released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufactures of the Philippines, Inc (Campi), reported  that the year-on-year decline was tempered by the 4.4 percent month-on-month increase in car sales in June.

“We are thankful that the local Philippine auto sales is holding up and continues to register some growth month on month, even amid the global financial crisis and considering the negative performance of auto sales in the west and even in Asean,”  said Campi president Elizabeth  Lee.

With the banking sector stable amid the global financial crisis and the financing environment fairly healthy, Campi said support for auto sales should continue as buyers are able to get loans to finance their purchases.

“Another key factor sustaining vehicle sales is the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittances which managed to grow by 2.6 percent even with the global crisis,” said Lee.

As of June, total passenger car (PC) sales reached 21,375 units, 1.8 percent higher than the figure registered in the first half of 2008. Campi expects the PC segment to maintain growth in the coming months.

But the bulk of the vehicles sold in January to June this year were in the commercial vehicle (CV) segment. To date, CV sales totaled 38,535 units or 64.3 percent of total auto sales for the first half of 2009.

Light commercial vehicles which comprise the popular pickup trucks, vans and compact wagons, continue to boost total auto sales for the period. Sales in this segment grew by 12.8 percent to 23,298 units.

“Sales in this segment continue to grow due to the continued entrepreneurship trend where buyers look to invest in vehicles that give them the best value for their money, vehicles which serve a dual purpose,” said Lee.

Auto players remain optimistic that the second half of the year will continue to be kind to the auto industry.

“With over $16 billion expected from remittances and the fact that two out of three households is supported by an OFW, car sales should remain fairly stable with continued month-on- month growth to be seen in the next half of the year. The forecast for this year remains tempered towards at least a flat growth,” said Lee.

Aside from this, Campi noted that auto players continue to make special packages that make it easier for buyers to purchase their vehicles to serve their needs.


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