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Hyundai: Car shopping picks up after tax hurdles

The country’s official distributor of Hyundai vehicles said it sold 9,949 units as of March, marking a 12.5-percent increase from the same period a year ago.

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (Hari) said in a statement Monday that volume sales for the month of March alone increased 5.9 percent to 3,412 units, compared to the same period in 2018.

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“Hari sustained its growth momentum in the first quarter driven by the successful introduction of fresh and innovative models such as the Reina at the start of the year and a more positive buying sentiment from consumers,” company president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

“We are well-poised to continue this upward trend over the next three quarters as we recently unveiled pioneering vehicles at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS),” she added.

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The figures, although slower than the 16-percent increase in the first two months of the year, marked a continued improvement from the company’s performance last year.

Hyundai sold a total of 35,401 units last year, lower than the 37,678 units in 2017. The decline reflected lukewarm demand for new vehicles amid high inflation and fresh excise taxes.

Thus far, total sales grew despite a lackluster performance in the passenger car segment.

Sales dropped 13.1 percent in March to 1,914 units from the 2,203 units sold in the same month last year. First quarter sales likewise dropped 12.9 percent to 5,404 units from 6,205 units in the same period in 2018.

Hyundai’s light commercial vehicles and commercial vehicles, meanwhile, garnered much interest.

Hyundai sold 1,413 light commercial vehicles in March, a 44.8-percent increase from 976 units in the same month last year. In the first quarter, this segment grew 70.5 percent to 4,306 units.

Commercial vehicles, on the other hand, saw a 93.2-percent increase in sales to 85 units in March. In the first quarter, this segment sold 239 units, for a 106-percent increase.

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Hyundai said it planned to make its commercial vehicles more accessible with the construction of seven additional dedicated commercial vehicle dealerships across the country on top of the six fully operational ones in major growth areas.

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TAGS: Business, Hyundai, tax
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