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9 April 2010

Philippines: Vehicle sales increase 35% in first quarter

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First-quarter motor vehicle sales grew by at least a third from a year ago, the Manila Times reported, citing two industry groups.

A total of 38,709 units were sold at end-March this year, up 35.5 percent from the 28,563 units in the same period last year, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association said in a joint report on Thursday.

“The strong first quarter result augurs well for the whole auto industry. We will have to revise our original forecast upwards given the first quarter trend. We are looking forward to continued strong sales in the coming months,” Elizabeth Lee, Campi president, said in a statement.

Campi had projected a “conservative” 4-percent sales growth this year from last year’s total sales of 132,444 units.

March sales alone reached 14,373 units, or 14.3 percent higher than February’s sales of 12,573 units. End-March sales of passenger cars increased 26.5 percent year-on-year and 3.2 percent month-on-month, because of sustained demand for micro and small cars as well as car companies’ extensive marketing campaigns and introduction of new models, Lee said.

Commercial vehicles, which accounted for about two-thirds of industry sales, jumped 40.6 percent year-on-year and 20.5 percent month-on-month in the first quarter.

Sales of Asian utility vehicles and light commercial vehicles went up 32.5 percent and 48.9 percent, respectively, while sales of trucks and buses more than doubled in the same period because of fleet sales deliveries, Lee said.

But sales of light trucks went down by almost a third in the first quarter because of the unavailability of units, she said.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. remained the top seller in the first quarter, having sold 12,341 units, or 26.3 percent higher year-on-year, although its market share slid 2.3 percent.

Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. was still in second place, as it sold 7,184 units, up 47.8 percent year-on-year. Its market share grew by 1.6 percent in the same period.

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. dislodged Honda Cars Philippines Inc. for the third spot, as Hyundai sold 4,572 units at end-March, higher than Honda’s 4,500. Hyundai’s sales zoomed 107.3 percent, while Honda’s sales fell 0.2 percent year-on-year.


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