Vehicle sales down by 13% in H1 2018

By Kris Crismundo

July 17, 2018, 6:19 pm

MANILA -- The combined vehicle sales of Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) member firms in the January to June period declined by 12.7 percent this year to 171,352 units from 195,772 units in 2017.

This, after sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles both registered negative growth of 16.5 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2018.

For the month of June alone, the groups’ vehicle sales reached 29,350 units, which is a 21.7-percent drop this year from 37,479 unit sales a year ago.

This is also a further widening of year-on-year sales decrement which was at 13.7 percent in May 2018. Month-on-month sales also recorded negative growth of 4 percent from 30,560 units in May this year.

Sales of passenger car segment dropped by 42.6 percent in June 2018 to 7,766 units from 13,525 units sold in June 2017.

Commercial vehicle segment sold a total of 21,584 units last month, a 9.9-percent decrease from 23,954 units sold a year ago. The bulk of this segment’s sales last month came from light commercial vehicles with 15,179 units being sold.

Decrement in sales of light commercial vehicles in June was minimal at 0.6 percent from 15,278 unit sales in June last year.

The biggest drop in sales in this segment was recorded in Asian utility vehicle at 31.7 percent to 5,061 units in June 2018 from 7,414 units sold in June 2017.

In trucks segment, only light trucks registered a decline in sales of 5.7 percent to 706 units, while trucks and buses categories four and five both recorded double-digit sales of 25 percent and 22.9 percent, respectively.

CAMPI President Rommel Gutierrez attributed this decline in automotive vehicle sales to customers’ purchasing prioritization with the increasing inflation rate in the backdrop. Gutierrez said Filipinos now prioritize to buy basic goods and services, and purchasing big ticket items like motor vehicles is becoming less favorable as inflation outlook remains to be elevated.

“This is a typical consumer’s behavior pattern when economic condition is a bit gloomy due to less favorable economic indicators. However, we remain optimistic that our sales will recover in the coming months, and hopefully a sustained growth by the end of the year,” he added.

But he said, the industry maintains its outlook for this year and has yet to revise its target.

The industry sees flat growth for this year, coming from a 450,000-unit sales target in 2017. Industry sources have expressed earlier the possible negative impact of higher excise tax rates on automotive vehicles due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Package 1.

Meanwhile, top selling car brands in the country for H1 2018 were Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford, and Honda. (PNA)