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Vehicle sales surged 23% in Q1

Despite ramping up deliveries, industry sees ‘challenging’ year ahead

In spite of sales growing in the first quarter of the year, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) said its members were “cautious” of what the industry should aim for in 2017.

Based on joint data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), vehicle sales surged 23 percent in the first quarter of this year, delivering 94,026 units from 76,473 units a year ago.

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The industry groups said that vehicle sales in March alone soared 32.9 percent from 27,515 a year ago to 36,561. This was a welcome development to a rather modest growth in February, which only increased by 7.5 percent.

Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said that the industry still continued down the path of motorization. However, he hinted at caution for 2017.

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“While the first quarter performance gives us reason to be optimistic, we are still cautious about our own target for the year,” he said in the statement without explaining.

While he did not respond to questions for comment as of press time, he previously said that 2017 would be a “challenging” year for the industry.

Car sales are expected to dampen following a strong move in Congress to raise the excise taxes on automobiles as one of the expanded sources of government revenues to offset losses that would result from a proposed lowering of personal income tax rates, as indicated in the Duterte administration’s first package of the comprehensive tax reform program.

Campi, along with the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (Avid), already submitted a position paper requesting for a watered down increase—a plea which the Department of Trade and Industry refused to support.

Both passenger car and commercial vehicle segments increased sales in the first quarter in light of new model introductions, aggressive marketing promotions and attractive financing offers, Campi and TMA said.

The commercial vehicle category, which accounted for more than half of sales, showed a jump of 33 percent to 62,075 units sold for the first quarter from 46,677 units in the same period in 2016. Passenger car sales, on the other hand, were up 7.2 percent to 31,951 in the first three months from 29,796 units a year ago.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. had the biggest market share at 43.27 percent, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 17.56 percent, Ford Motor Company Philippines Inc. with 8.27 percent, Honda Cars Philippines Inc. with 7.82 percent and Isuzu Philippines Corp. with 6.94 percent.

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TAGS: Campi, cars, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., Motoring
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