Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Philippine car sales rebound in February, up 2.7%

Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/node/198330

From a negative growth in the first month of 2009, the local auto industry recovered with a 2.7 percent increase in February with 9,027 units sold versus 8,791 units in January this year, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) reported.

Despite the modest growth, CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee described the improvement in the domestic auto sales for February as remarkable especially when compared to how other major markets are performing led by the largest auto market especially the US auto market which sales plunged another 41 percent in February alone.

"Local auto players are hopeful that the increase in local February sales is a positive sign indicative of a growth trend for 2009 and hit the forecast growth of between 2 to 4 percent for the whole of 2009," Lee said.

Lee attributed the growth in February to the sustained OFW remittances, the entrepreneurial trend, and the critical stable financing market. The introduction of some new models will continue to boost sales.

Of the total sales in February, the passenger car sales declined by 6.6 percent to 3,162 units from 3,384 units in January but the commercial vehicles improved by 8.5 percent to 5,865 units from 5,407 units in January this year pulling the total industry sales in the second month of the year to a positive.

On a year to date basis, however, total local auto sales registered a slight 2.5 percent decline with total sales hitting only 17,818 units versus 18,282 units in the January-February period in 2008.

Of this figure, commercial vehicle segment sales declined by 7.6 percent to 11,272 units versus 12,196 units in the same January-February period last year while passenger cars posted a 7.6 percent increase for 6,546 units sold from 6,086 units in the same period last year.

Lee said that the growth in Feb sales was supported by a strong growth in AUV (Asian utility vehicle) sales as well as continued growth in the light commercial vehicle segment. CV sales are expected to grow in the coming months.

The month of February showed strong growth from AUVs with a 24.7 percent jump in sales vs. January although YTD sales compared to the same period last year declined by 20 percent. The increase in Feb sales is a strong indication of perhaps the start of a positive growth trend in the coming months. Strong sales in this segment are backed by purchases of vehicles used for business.

LCV sales continue to be sustained reflecting a growth of 1.2 percent and a growth for YTD sales as well.

There were 7,021 LCVs sold nationwide with 3,531 units sold in February as buyers continue to support sales of pick up trucks, vans, and compact wagons. This segment remains resilient with buyers looking for value for money in their purchases. Recently introduced new models also helped boost sales in the segment.

Light trucks sales increased by 10.5 percent compared to the same period last year. This segment grew by 17.4 percent compared to January 2009 due to the introduction of new models.

Categories IV & V sales for February 2009 decreased by 43.5% compared to January 2009 due to low fleet sales.

Compared to the same period last year (January 2009), sales also decreased by 26 percent.

In terms of ranking, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. maintains its top post with 35.1 percent market share followed by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. with 16.8 percent market share and Honda Cars Philippines Inc. with 16.7 percent.

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