Sales by vehicle importers down 3% in first half

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The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid) remains bullish that sales will grow this year despite a decline in the first half of 2013.

Documents from Avid showed a 3-percent drop in vehicle sales to 15,345 units in the first six months of the year from 15,800 units sold during the same period last year. For June alone, members of Avid registered an even bigger decline of 16 percent to 2,447 units from 2,912 units a year ago.

According to Avid, the light commercial vehicles (LCV) segment provided a strong cushion in tempering the supply-stricken passenger car category in the first semester.

During this period, the LCV segment chalked up a 20-percent jump in sales to 7,524 units from 6,270 units a year ago, on the back of strong new offerings from tried and tested segment leaders.

Fueling this growth were Motor Image Pilipinas Inc.’s Subaru and The Covenant Car Co. Inc.’s Chevrolet brands, which provided new offerings in the compact and mid-size SUV categories.

The passenger car category, led by primary movers Hyundai and Chevrolet, suffered significant losses due to supply-dictated performance as well as strong external competition.

Avid remains bullish, however, given the country’s robust economic growth. It pointed out that the “robust OFW remittances from abroad, the burgeoning BPO sector and a dynamic tourism industry are seen to support strong consumer demand for the second-half of 2013 amid external shocks and volatility in financial markets.

“The economy’s growth momentum is expected to be sustained for the next quarter as prospects for growth such as accelerated government spending and improved investor sentiments remain intact. Solid macroeconomic fundamentals are expected to help the auto industry achieve double-digit growth by year-end,” the group further stressed.

“With upbeat local business and consumer sentiments projected to counterweigh global and regional setbacks, we at Avid remain wholly optimistic of the prospective growth of the local automotive industry for the remainder of 2013,” noted group president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.

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