'Entry level', compact cars sales seen to boost auto sector recovery


Posted at Jul 14 2020 04:47 PM

'Entry level', compact cars sales seen to boost auto sector recovery 1
MRT-3 train traverses EDSA in Quezon City as it resumes operations on a limited capacity on July 13, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The automotive industry, that saw an "unprecedented sales decline" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is seeing recovery from sales of entry level and compact cars, a manufacturing group said Tuesday.

Although recovery is unlikely to happen this year, the group is optimistic that sales will start to pickup in the last quarter, said Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines president Rommel Gutierrez. 

"We’ve seen some recovery in June but still 50 percent of the normal sales figures. We’re feeling the negative impact of the pandemic," Gutierrez said.

"We see some signs that vehicle purchase are really coming from entry level, small compact cars," he added.

Sales in March was less than the usual number of 30,000 units while in May, sales were just 15 percent of the usual at 5,000 units, Gutierrez said.

Enhanced community quarantine was imposed in March, suspending school, businesses, and public transport. Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine while awaiting for President Rodrigo Duterte on further extension or easing.

Gutierrez said manufacturers were streamlining processes in order to save jobs and to ride out the pandemic.