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Auto groups post contrasting March numbers as Ford shines

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid) reported an 8 percent growth in March alone—3,027 vehicles compared to 2,792 sold in the same period last year.

Avid attributed this growth to its light commercial vehicles, which grew by 23 percent (1,435 units sold compared to 1,170 sold in March 2012).

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This brings the total number of vehicles sold (from January to March) by Avid members to 8,298 units, a 38-percent improvement when compared to the same period last year.

“With the country’s first-ever investment grade rating upgrade as well as a slew of new vehicles to fancy the market this year, the members of Avid and the rest of the Philippine automotive industry are poised for yet another banner year,” said Avid president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo.

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41,702 units

Earlier this month, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) also announced a similar growth when both reported selling a total of 41,702 units from January to March.

This figure is 29 percent better than the one posted in the same period last year.

Campi president Rommel Gutierrez explained that the first quarter of the year traditionally yields the lowest sales figure. “[The] fact that this year’s first quarter figure breached the 40,000-mark for the first time in the industry’s history is a clear indication that the country is ion the path towards motorization.”

Similarly, Campi and TMA attributed growth to the strong performance of their members’ light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses, which posted a 69 percent increase (447 units versus 265 sold in the same period last year). Gutierrez said this was mainly due to purchases by various government agencies that have been refleeting since the start of the year.

Encouraged by such strong sales in the first quarter, Campi is confident that the industry will reach its 200,000-unit sales volume target for 2013 (this projection already combines the expected figures that the Campi, TMA and Avid will post by year’s end).

The Philippines got a big boost last month after Fitch Ratings raised the country’s credit rating to investment grade.

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This development is expected to further boost investment and lift the country’s long-term growth potential as well as attract further capital inflows.

With the stream of good news being directed the country’s way, the local automotive sector is seen to continue on posting strong growth numbers throughout the year. Already benefiting from this development are Campi members like Toyota Motors Philippines, which currently enjoys a 41-percent market share, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 24 percent, Honda Cars Philippines with 9.51 percent, Isuzu Philippines Corp. with 6.56 percent, and Ford Philippines 6.44 percent.

Avid’s Hyundai Asia Resources Inc., on the other hand, sold 5,951 units in the same quarter. While this figure is 12.06 percent lower than what Hari posted in the same period last year, the importer of the top Korean brand is optimistic it will hit its projected sales of 25,000 units by year’s end given positive economic conditions.

“On the back of positive economic and consumer expectations, Avid’s as well as Hari’s thrust for innovation shall continue to shine. Expect us to continue to dish out cutting edge vehicle models and premium customer service,” promised Agudo, who is also Hari president and CEO.

Big month for Ford

March was particularly big for Ford Philippines as it reported a 91 percent increase in sales to 2,685 units for the first quarter of the year—its best-ever sales for the month as well as the company’s all-time best first quarter performance.

March sales hit a record 1,000 units led by the Ranger pick-up, which sold 295 units; followed by the Everest, 281 units; Fiesta, 170; Focus, 101, and Mustang, 20 units.

Ford Philippines president Randy Krieger said that with an expanding product range, including an upgraded all-new Explorer lineup and the addition of the all-new Ranger Wildtrak, the Ford brand is appealing to even more customers in the Philippines. “This extraordinary demand for our segment-leading One Ford vehicles is helping to drive record sales,” he said.

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TAGS: Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, automotive industry, Motoring, vehicle sales
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