Car importers see growth in ’13

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Vehicle importers started 2013 on an optimistic note with higher sales in January from the previous month, despite having sold one less car compared to January 2012.

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (Avid) reported Friday that it remained “upbeat” as January 2013 sales grew 23.4 percent to 2,625 units from 2,128 units in December 2012.

The passenger car segment drove month-on-month sales growth with a 43-percent increase in sales. The light commercial vehicle segment grew 16 percent.

Avid president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said in a statement that the industry group remained optimistic amid expectations of a stronger Philippine economy and more brand-building initiatives.

Year-on-year, vehicle sales for January 2013 were slightly down by 0.04 percent from 2,626 units in January 2012, Avid reported.

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (Hari), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, was among the top performers among Avid members, especially in the passenger car segment.

In a separate report, Hari said it opened 2013 with a 32-percent sales gain with 1,992 vehicles sold in January from 1,505 units sold in December 2012.

Hari posted a 65-percent growth in passenger car sales to 1,236 units in January 2013 from 751 units in the previous month. In terms of light commercial vehicles, Hari said it sold 756 units in January 2013, barely up from 754 units in December 2012.

The Korean firm said its vehicle sales for January 2013 were led by the resilient Grand Starex, the refreshed Genesis Coupe, as well as the Hyundai sub-compact arsenal led by the Accent and Eon.

The last quarter of 2012 saw the Philippine economy achieve 6.8 percent growth, leading to 6.6 percent economic expansion for the year.

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