Vehicle assemblers post 15% drop in January sales
Vehicle manufacturers saw their sales volume drop by 15 percent in January, showing no sign of market recovery after the industry had its worst sales decline in decades last year.
Vehicle sales for the first month of the year reached only 26,888 units, lower than the 31,645 units sold in January 2017.
This was according to a joint report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).
Campi did not issue any statement to explain the drop. However, this came a month after the industry posted its worst full-year sales decline since the financial crisis in 1998.
After sales fell 16 percent last year, the groups—composed of most of the vehicle companies in the country—is targeting a 10-percent growth for 2019.
Last year, January was the only month when the industry marked a year-on-year growth. Even then, it growth was slower compared to that of 2017.
Campi president Rommel Gutierrez previously attributed the decline in sales in 2018 to a number of factors, including the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law, which made most cars more expensive due to higher excise tax rates.
Inflation has also affected the industry, as consumers put off plans to buy new vehicles as they prioritized basic goods and services in their spending, said Gutierrez, who is also an official of Toyota Motors Philippines Corp.
It is still uncertain how soon the industry can go back to the growth track.
For January, passenger car sales dropped 13.3 percent to 8,487 units from 9,790 units in the same month a year ago.
In the meantime, commercial vehicles, which accounted for nearly 70 percent of the market, saw a 15.8-percent decline in sales to 18,401 units from 21,855 units a year ago.
The country’s top two automotive assembly companies in the country saw their sales drop by double-digit rates in January.
Toyota, still with the largest market share, posted a 14.1-percent drop in sales.
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., the second top seller in the domestic market, saw its sales decline by 22.5 percent.
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