MANILA, Philippines - The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) may make some upward adjustments to its projected car sales this year citing local demand, even as Ford Philippines announced it would halt its local assembly operations this year, industry officials said.
“We can still increase the sales target. We are studying it and we may announce it next month,” CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez told reporters at the sidelines of the announcement of the 4th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) yesterday.
He said the 13-member group expects its car sales to rise 8.75 percent to 154,000 units this year from the 141,616 units sold last year.
The country’s total car sales including those of CAMPI’s and the imported vehicles, he said, are seen to reach 180,000 units this year.
For the January to May period, the CAMPI reported earlier that car sales have reached 59,177 units, slightly higher than the 58,876 units sold in the comparable period last year.
Gutierrez said the CAMPI may raise its sales outlook for this year citing the country’s favorable economic conditions.
“We have local demand and that is the trend really, there is consumer confidence,” he said.
On Thursday, he said the CAMPI was keeping its sales outlook for the year despite Ford’s announcement that it would shutdown its assembly plant in Sta. Rosa in Laguna by the end of the year.
Ford will be closing its Sta. Rosa plant as part of the firm’s restructuring of its regional manufacturing operations.
The planned closure of Ford’s plant is seen to affect about 250 employees.
Gutierrez said yesterday though that the CAMPI will continue to assess whether Ford’s shutdown of its plant will have an impact on car sales this year.
He also said that despite the planned shutdown of Ford’s plant, the group is upbeat on sales based on the country’s strong consumer confidence.
For his part, CAMPI vice president Dante Santos said in the same event that the economy is still growing which should also support growth in car purchases this year.
“The Philippine economy is still strong. There is still growth in this segment...The industry still has capacity to support that growth,” he said.
The officials said the upcoming motor show is seen to support higher car sales for this year.
The PIMS which will feature concept or prototype vehicles as well as the latest advancements in automotive technology, will be held on August 16 to 19 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.