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Vehicle sales jumped 10.3% in November

The automotive industry in the Philippines might finally be on its way to recover its lost momentum after truck and car manufacturers reported a more than 10-percent increase in volume sales in November from the same month last year.

This was according to a joint report released on Wednesday by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).Data showed Campi and TMA members, which account for 90 percent of the industry, sold 34,465 units in November, a 10.3-percent increase from a year ago.

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Campi-TMA has sold 336,226 units from January to November, an increase of 3.27 percent compared with the same period in 2018.

Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said that November marked the highest monthly sales of Campi-TMA so far this year. More is expected this December, the groups said, wherein the industry experiences “exponential growth” every year. “We are continuously working double time to achieve the industry’s overall sales target of 410,000 units, which we believe remains achievable,” Gutierrez said.

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The auto industry is still trying to recover from last year’s sales drop as demand fell under the weight of higher excise taxes coupled with high inflation.

Volume sales dropped 16 percent last year, the worst full-year sales performance since the financial crisis in 1998. But the latest growth numbers might only be a temporary relief for the industry since another storm is in the horizon.

The industry would have to deal with the impact of two protectionist measures that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is currently considering.The DTI is studying a petition for safeguard measure against imported vehicles after a labor group claimed that local jobs were harmed because of too many imports in the past few years. It is also considering to slap tariffs on vehicles imported from Thailand, an act of retaliation prompted by a long-standing trade dispute.

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TAGS: automotive industry, vehicle sales
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