April vehicle sales up year-on-year
Car and truck manufacturers sold more than 17,800 new vehicles in April, a jump of about 13,300 percent from the level in the same month last year, when carmakers sold only about a hundred units due to the tight lockdown at the start of the pandemic.
They sold 17,843 units in April alone, up from only 133 units a year ago, according to the latest joint report from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and Truck Manufacturers Association.
Campi president Rommel Gutierrez said the industry had anticipated this year-on-year recovery from the slump in April last year, when the sector posted the steepest sales decline in its history.
But the April sales figure was down by 13.8 percent from the level in March 2021. This drop, said Gutierrez, was due to the reimposition of strict quarantine measures following the surge in new COVID-19 infections.
“Additionally, tighter bank lending continues to dampen the demand for consumer spending especially for big-ticket items like auto amid the pandemic. The additional deposit due to a safeguard measure is also burdensome to consumers and the industry.” he added.
He was referring to the safeguard duty imposed on imported vehicles since February last year. The Department of Trade and Industry imposed the duty based on findings that the surge in imported vehicles in the past years had hurt local jobs in car factories. The DTI slapped provisional safeguard duties of P70,000 per unit of imported passenger cars and P110,000 per unit of imported light commercial vehicles. This was based on its investigation of the industry’s performance from 2014 to 2018.
Safeguard measures are trade remedies imposed by the government if a surge in imports seriously injured a local industry.
But unlike previous safeguard measures, the DTI’s recent move was not supported by local big players, Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. ) and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. INQ
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