Virus crushes vehicle makers as sales drop 40%
The holiday spirit in December failed to lift the sales of vehicle and truck manufacturers, which sold only 223,793 units in 2020, nearly 40-percent less compared to the previous year.
A joint report by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) said only 27,596 units were sold in December last year, an 18.1-percent decline from the same month in 2019.
The December figure was already a 19.1-percent increase from November, when they sold 23,162 units.
“It is noteworthy that the holiday season has contributed to the uptick in demand for auto sales in December amid the improving business and consumer confidence,” Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said.
“With Campi’s year-to-date sales of 223,793 units, we are optimistic that the total industry [goal] of 240,000 units for 2020 will be surpassed,” he added.
In a separate statement, vehicle importers said they, too, suffered a huge drop in sales last year.
The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (Avid) saw a 41-percent decline in sales to 51,719 units for the entire 2020. Avid said this decline was because of the lockdowns that limited economic activity and weakened consumer demand.
Like Campi, Avid also saw a month-on-month increase in December—a usual holiday trend—with sales up by 15 percent. It sold 5,683 units in December alone.
“Automotive was among the hard hit sectors in this pandemic and we continue to feel the impact as sales, after-sales and auto-related services remain lackluster. Despite the hurdles, the industry quickly adapted to the new normal, survived, and are finally seeing some signs of revival. However, we see more headwinds in the coming months,” Avid president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.
The auto industry is facing another difficult year, especially after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)imposed a safeguard duty on imported cars in an attempt to protect jobs in local assembly and manufacturing plants.
Prices might even go higher for vehicles from Thailand, where many of these vehicles come from, since the DTI is moving to suspend concessions in auto imports, among others, in response to a separate trade issue with Bangkok over cigarette exports.
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