Vehicle sales jump ahead of tax hike
A month before new excise car taxes are slapped, car and truck manufacturers reported reaching one of their highest growth in sales this year, recent data showed.
According to joint data from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), sales of member companies reached 40,799 units in November, a 23.8-percent increase from the same month a year ago.
This marked the third highest year-on-year increase reported by the two auto groups, following the 27.8 percent and 32.9 percent year-on-year growth sales in January and March, respectively.
Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said that December sales were still expected to be “strong” gauged from how sales in November also outpaced that of October. Data pointed to an 11.7-percent improvement from the sales in October this year, which delivered 36,511 units.
“Carrying the momentum from November sales, the outlook for December remains strong driven by the good sales performance of key models from other brands,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
A total of 380,179 units were sold from January to November this year, growing 16.8 percent from the same 11 months in 2016. The car industry, including the sales of a group of car importers, expects to sell 450,000 units at the end of the year.
Gutierrez, who is also a top official of market leader Toyota Motors Philippines Corp., said that he was confident of meeting the yearend industry target.
The latest growth figures came prior to the final version of the new car excise tax that is expected to be implemented starting January next year.
Ending months of speculation about which version would hold water, the two chambers of Congress finally decided to hike the excise tax on all price brackets.
Before Congress approved the final version of tax proposal, previous versions both in the House of Representatives and the Senate wanted all price brackets to see an increase in their excise tax rates —a development which led some car officials to expect lower sales starting next year. It remains to be seen how the new rates would affect growth prospects, especially since the tax rates were increased.
The sale of commercial vehicles increased in November from the same period last year. On the other hand, passenger cars sold slightly less in the same month.
Commercial vehicles sold reached 28,898 units, a 38.8-percent increase in November this year. In the first 11 months of the year, the segment—which accounted for more than 60 percent of the total market—grew 24.5 percent to 254,937 units.
Passenger car sales slid 2 percent in November to 11,901 units from 12,143 units in the same month last year. Despite this, there was still a slight increase from January to November after the segment sold 125,242 units, or a 3.8 percent growth.
Toyota is still the market leader in terms of sales, accounting for more than 43 percent of the total market. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. followed with a 17.55 percent share and Ford Motor Co. Philippines Inc. placed third with 8.42 percent.
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