Healthy economy boosts January car sales by 51%

by Jennifer A. Ng, BusinessMirror

Posted at Feb 12 2013 08:09 AM | Updated as of Feb 12 2013 05:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The local automotive industry started the year 2013 with a bang as vehicle sales in January rose by 50.8 percent year-on-year to 12,256 units, according to a report released by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association of the Philippines.

Campi President Rommel Gutierrez said the local auto industry’s performance in January is “another indication of the overall healthy economic performance of the country.”

“January is traditionally a slow month for the local auto industry following the usual December car-buying sprees. The January 2013 [sales] are an indication of the good performance of the country’s economy,” he added in a statement.

Last month, the passenger-car segment led the year’s opening sales, posting a 98-percent increase in year-on-year sales to 4,161 units. The segment accounted for 34 percent of total vehicle sales.

The commercial vehicle segment—under which Asian-utility vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and trucks and buses are classified—posted a 34.3-percent jump in sales. The segment accounted for 66.05 percent of sales during the period.

The passenger-car segment posted a whopping 98.2-percent increase in sales in January. Passenger cars accounted for almost 34 percent of total vehicles sold by the industry last month.

In January Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. led the pack with a share of 38 percent, followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines with 23 percent, Honda Cars Philippines with 11 percent, Isuzu Philippines Corp. with 6.8 percent and Ford Philippines with 6.7 percent.

For the rest of the year, Gutierrez expressed confidence that the industry will be able to meet its target of selling 200,000 units. The target is 27.67 percent higher than the 156,649 units sold by the industry in 2012.

“The stable macroeconomic environment as well as increase in market confidence, steady inflow of foreign investments, active household and government consumption, combined with continuous expansion in the industry and services sectors, to be completed with new model introductions and aggressive promotions, will contribute to realizing this target,” he said.

In 2012 total vehicle sales grew by 11 percent year-on-year due to robust consumption spending.