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Car sales boom in December, fueled by TRAIN anxiety

Car and truck manufacturers made their highest monthly sales in December last year, as consumers moved to buy new units before the imposition of higher excise taxes.

According to joint data from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), car sales of member companies in December alone reached 45,494 units, 33.4 percent higher than the 34,104 of the same month in 2016.

This is the highest year-on-year sale for 2017, followed only by the groups’ sales in March that recorded a 32.9 percent growth. Car sales for the full year of 2017 reached 425,673 units, 18.4 percent higher than the 359,572 units sold the year before.

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It remains to be seen if the entire industry also hit its 2017 target of 450,000 units. Another group, Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid), has yet to release its quarterly sales report.

President Duterte signed last December the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act lowering the personal income tax while also imposing higher consumption taxes on goods such as cars.

“We ended 2017 with a positive note. Aggressive promos, new model updates and the hard work of members helped contribute to expanding the Philippine market. While exceeding our sales target for the year, we remain cautious in our projection for 2018,” said Campi president Rommel Gutierrez. “Campi remains confident that the market will be able to adjust to the new auto excise tax in 2018.”

Top market performer for 2017 was still Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. with a 43.2-percent market share. Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. followed with 17.29 percent, and Ford Motor with 8.6 percent.

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TAGS: car and truck manufacturers, car sales, higher excise taxes, highest monthly sales, train
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