FINAL QUARTER PUSH
Auto firms going all out to achieve industry target sales of 185,000 unitsBy Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s still plenty left in 2012 to get excited about. According to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., or Campi, vehicle sales in the first eight months of the year improved on the back of an upbeat economy (despite a slight decline in August caused by strong monsoon rains that forced several customers to defer their purchases).
As of end-August, the industry already sold 98,725 vehicles, a figure that is on track to reach or even surpass market forecast of 185,000 unit sales by end of the year.
“The continued strong performance posted by the industry is a clear sign that supply is now stable and manufacturers are able to serve strong demand of the market,” lawyer Rommel Gutierrez, president of Campi, said in a statement.
The last quarter of the year has always been strong for the industry as car-buying is at its pinnacle.
Remaining as the market leader—with a 40.9-percent share and eight-month total sales of 40,383 units—the Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. is set to intensify sales with its newly launched models.
And TMP has plenty of models to entice the Philippine market: three new variants of the Vios (TRD edition of 1.5-liter Vios, manual variant of the 1.3-liter G, and the beefed up 1.3-liter J); the Variable Nozzle Turbocharger-equipped models of the Fortuner and Hilux; and the updated Innova and Avanza, just to name a few, including the newly launched sports car 86 which has been pre-sold entirely.
As of this date, TMP offers 16 different models ranging from the smallest compact, the Yaris, to the super roomy minivan, the Hiace.
Not to be outdone, the country’s second-bestselling brand is also flexing muscles for the last quarter of the year.
October should be the most important month for Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. as the company is set to launch its most anticipated model, the all-new Mirage.
Deliveries for the all-new Mirage will start in November although during the Philippine International Motor Show last August, MMPC did a Mirage pre-order exclusive wherein those who placed a reservation from August 16 until October 31 are guaranteed a P40,000 pre-order incentive.
The pre-order exclusive is in the form of a P25,000 outright markdown from the suggested retail price and P15,000 to be used for Mirage genuine accessories.
According to MMPC advertising and promotions manager Arlan Reyes, the availability of the all-new Mirage will beef up the company’s lineup in the passenger car market that now includes the recently launched 1.6-liter version of the Lancer EX.
MMPC owns 23.1 percent of the market and has already sold 22,761 units as of end-August.
The last quarter of 2012 is also proving to be very exciting for Chevrolet as The Covenant Car Company Inc., exclusive importer and distributor of the American brand, is set to launch three exciting models—the Colorado pickup, all-new Sonic compact car, and the Trailbrazer SUV (acknowledged as the most affordable SUV once out in the market).
According to lawyer Albert Arcilla, president and managing director of Chevy Philippines, with three new dealerships opening and getting operational within the last quarter of 2012 (bringing the total number to 19), the company is all set to push the sale of the three new models.
“We are optimistic that these new, exciting, and most affordable models will be the growth factor for Chevrolet,” said Arcilla, adding that he is expecting the number of dealerships to grow the network to 24 by first quarter of 2013.
He also added that Chevrolet Philippines, being acknowledged as the No. 1 brand in aftersales by the JD Power Survey two years in a row, makes the company even more optimistic.
Loi de Guzman, Scandinavian Motors Marketing Services Division AVP, announced that the Volvo distributor is set to launch the all-new V40 SUV.
V40 to get new engines
The V40 is tipped to be the first car to get Volvo’s new range of modular 4-cylinder Volvo Environmental Architecture engines that are up to 90-kg lighter than the present ones, features that improve fuel economy by as much as 35 percent, as well as meet all known emissions legislation worldwide up to 2017.
“Apart from this new model, we are also anticipating the opening of two new Volvo dealerships in addition to the new dealer partners in Iloilo and Bacolod. These are the new reasons for our valued clients to buckle up for the exciting ride ahead as we continue to share with them sleek, smart and famously safe Scandinavian luxury cars that are designed around people,” De Guzman said.
The last quarter of 2012 will see CATS Motors preparing for the arrival of the all-new Mercedes Benz B-class “Sports Tourer,” a compact multipurpose vehicle that embodies the German luxury brand’s ethic of engineering excellence.
The B-Class combines the versatility of a multipurpose vehicle, ride quality of a sedan, and dynamic performance of a sports utility vehicle.
Globally, the B-Class has been a runaway success with over 75,000 units sold within the six months of its launch early this year. Almost one million B-Class units have been sold worldwide since its launch in 2005.
Focus to get attention
With all its latest models already launched, Ford Philippines will focus more on making sure its recent offerings—all-new Ford Ranger, all-new Ford Explorer 2.0L with EcoBoost, all-new Ford Focus, and the new generation muscle car, the iconic Mustang—will get every car buyer’s attention.
“The introduction of the iconic Ford Mustang, along with the rest of the new models, this year, follows our ongoing commitment to continue bringing world-class vehicles to the Philippines,” said Randy Krieger, president, Ford Group Philippines. He added that the Mustang is expected to attract many new loyal customers who will be absolutely thrilled to own any of the model’s two variants: a 300-hp, 3.7-liter V6 variant and a 414-hp, 5.0-liter V8 variant.
To help achieve this goal, Ford Philippines is set to add 12 more dealerships to its ever-expanding network before the year ends.
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