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1 month ago | Local Business News | 0 comments

By Bong Garabot

Data from two automotive industry groups showed, car sales slumped in 2020, after a holiday demand spike failed to make up for the plunge in demand during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

From a data released on Thursday, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) showed full-year sales stood at 223,793 units, falling 7% short of the 240,000 industry group target.

So far, holiday demand drove car sales 19.1% higher to 27,596 units in December, from 23,162 units sold in November. However, December sales were still 18.1% lower than the 33,715 units sold in the same month of 2019.

CAMPI President Rommel R. Gutierrez said in a statement, “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.”

Car sales declined was seen as early as January after some plants and dealerships in the National Capital Region and the Calabarzon Region were forced to temporarily suspend operations due to ashfall from the Taal Volcano eruption.

The April sales plunged as much as 99% at the height of the strict lockdown in Luzon, but has since slightly recovered as restrictions eased. The pace of decline slowed in September, as the month usually starts off an upward trend in automotive sales due to the upcoming holiday season.

Meanwhile, year on year, commercial vehicle sales in December fell 23.1% to 18,815 units. Asian utility vehicle sales dropped by 11.6% to 3,940 units, while light commercial vehicle sales slipped by 25.1% to 13,962 units.

In December, passenger car sales declined at 5% to 8,781 units compared with the same month the previous year.

Year to date, commercial vehicle sales plunged 40.9% to 154,155 units, while passenger vehicle sales sank 36.2% to 69,638 units.

So far, Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. (TMP) remained the market leader with a 44.69% share, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 16.70% and Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 9.72%.

(AVID) said in a separate report, imported vehicle sales declined 41% in 2020, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc.

Passenger car sales slid 46% to 16,588 units, while light commercial vehicle sales fell 37.6% to 34,826 units and commercial vehicle sales dropped 66% to 305 cars.

AVID President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said,
“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.”

She said the industry must focus on creating more job opportunities, upgrading infrastructure and logistics, and improving the ease and cost of doing business to revive the sector.

Both industry groups have criticized safeguard duties placed on car imports this month, saying that the measure would impede recovery.

The Trade department slapped duties on imported cars to protect local industries after its investigation found a link between a recent surge in imports and declining local employment.

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