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NEWS UPDATES 10 September 2009

Philippine car sales down in first 8 months

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Car sales in the Philippines fell in the first eight months of 2009, the Manila Times quoted industry groups as saying Wednesday.

In a joint report, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association said end-August sales reached 82,081 units, down 1.3 percent from 83,196 units in the same period last year. Also, sales of 10,575 units in August alone dipped 8.8 percent from July’s 11,597.

Campi had said car sales in July were the highest so far this year, even as the seven-month figure was 2.4-percent lower year-on-year.

“Even with the expected August [sales] decline . . . the industry still managed to pull through with better year-to-date numbers—a slight improvement which is hoped to be stronger in the coming months,” Elizabeth Lee, Campi president, said.

“The industry remains positive and is banking on continued and stronger overseas Filipino workers’ remittances which will spur consumption coupled with auto loans seen to grow as well in the coming months. So far, lower [car loan] rates have helped auto sales,” she said.

The industry targets to sell a total of 125,000 units by yearend.

Sales of passenger cars dipped 0.9 percent year-on-year and 3 percent month-on-month, as Campi blamed the drop on “unit and color unavailability of most passenger car models/variants.”

Sales of commercial vehicles (CVs)—which comprise 64.6 percent of nationwide vehicle sales so far—fell 1.6 percent year-on-year and 11.8 percent month-on-month. Campi said stock unavailability and the double-digit drop in the Asian utility vehicle (AUV) segment contributed to the decline.

AUV sales went down 14.1 percent year-on-year and 23.4 percent month-on-month “due to the absence of fleet sales and low supply of some high-volume models,” Campi said.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp continues to lead the pack with sales of 28,076 units in the first eight months of this year, even as year-to-date sales were down 6.6 percent from last year. Toyota’s 34.2-percent market share in the eight-month period is 1.9 percent lower than last year.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp posted the second-largest sales in the first eight months of the year with 14,763 units, up 32.5 percent year-on-year. Mitsubishi’s 18.0-percent market share is also up 4.6 percent year-on-year.

Honda Cars Philippines Inc had the third-biggest sales at end-August with 11,559 units, up 17.7 percent year-on-year. Honda’s market share of 14.1 percent is up 2.3 percent year-on-year.


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