MANILA, Philippines - The country’s vehicle importers reported a seven-percent decline in total sales in the first quarter, citing weak demand which normally happens after the Christmas season.
The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Inc. (AVID) said in a statement yesterday it sold a total of 8,448 units in the first three months of the year, down from the 9,061 units sold in the same period in 2014.
Passenger cars (PC) sold by the group fell by eight percent to 4,208 units in the first quarter this year from the previous year’s 4,564 units.
Sales of light commercial vehicle segment (LCV) also registered a six-percent decrease to 4,240 units in the January to March period this year from 4,497 units in the same period a year ago.
Compared to AVID’s total vehicle sales which reached 8,515 units in the fourth quarter in 2014, the group’s first quarter sales slipped by one percent.
AVID attributed the lower first quarter sales result to weaker demand in January, with the end of the yuletide season.
Among the AVID members, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the local distributor of South Korea’s Hyundai vehicles, accounted for the bulk of total sales.
HARI’s total vehicle sales in the first quarter reached 5,364 units this year, 10 percent lower than the 5,983 units sold in the same period last year.
The firm’s PC sales went down by nine percent to 3,653 units in the first three months of the year from 4,004 units in the same period in 2014.
LCV sales of HARI also registered a 14-percent decline to 1,711 units as of end-March this year compared to the 1,979 units in the same period a year ago.
For the rest of the year, AVID remains upbeat as the automotive industry is expected to benefit from the country’s strong economic growth and consumption spending.
“The strong showing of local auto market gives AVID a further push to amplify its commitment to delight its customers with its exciting deals and exemplary customer service,” AVID President Ma. Fe Perez- Agudo said.
Earlier, she said the AVID expects to sell around 40,000 to 42,000 units this year on expectations of sustained strong demand for cars.
Last year, the AVID sold a total of 35,565 units.
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