Car importers bare 11% sales dip in H1

By Kris Crismundo

July 18, 2018, 1:48 pm

MANILA -- Sales of imported automotive vehicles in the country declined by 11 percent in the first half of the year to 43,138 units from 48,344 units in the same period in 2017, car importers disclosed.

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) reported Wednesday that the decrease in sales of imported cars in the country was brought about by price increases in the passenger car and light commercial vehicle segments.

Total sales for passenger cars went down by 14 percent to 16,176 units in H1 2018 from 18,679 units sold in H1 2017. For light commercial vehicles, the segment’s sales decreased by 10 percent to 26,528 units in January to June 2018, from 29,575 unit sales in the same period in the previous year.

“First semester sales reached 43,138 units sold as the consumers are still adjusting to new income and new commodity price levels,” AVID president Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said.

She said the higher excise tax rates on automotive vehicles under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law had an immediate impact on the passenger car and light commercial vehicle segments. AVID, however, expects the effect of TRAIN to be “short-term and transitional,” while it sees the market to continue to purchase vehicles and adjust to the new tax regime.

“Nevertheless, we see this as a transitionary period and may soon normalize as both supply and demand factors stabilize,” Perez-Agudo noted.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) shared the largest number of imported vehicle sales in the country with sales reaching to 15,957 units in the first semester. However, this is still 8.1 percent lower than the 17,366 units sold in the same period in 2017. For the month of June alone, the importer of Korea's Hyundai took a sales decline of 15.2 percent to 7,226 units this year from 8,525 units last year. (PNA)