Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Automotive sales up 33.8% in January

J. A. D. Hermosa

THE AUTOMOTIVE industry kicked off 2010 with a hefty sales growth in January, much improved from when sales flattened in the same month last year, data released yesterday showed.

Twenty car firms sold 11,763 units last month, up 33.8% from the 8,791 vehicles sold by 18 distributors a year earlier. The January growth comes to 32.7% if CATS Motors and Focus Ventures, Inc. -- not listed in last year’s report -- are excluded.

Last month’s sales were even better than the 8,809 units sold in January 2008 before the economic downturn deepened, but were less than the 13,000 monthly average seen in the last quarter of 2009 when buyers sought to replace flood-damaged cars.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) pointed to brighter economic prospects as spurring the increase.

Trucks, vans and other commercial vehicles (CV) drove sales with a 46% rise to 7,907. This segment continued to corner more than two-thirds of total sales.

Passenger car sales, meanwhile, improved by 14.3% to 3,856 units.

"To a certain extent, strong vehicle sales is reflective of a stronger economic environment," CAMPI President Elizabeth H. Lee said in a statement.

"With the robust growth of CV sales ... Filipinos are now showing more aggressiveness in either starting a business or expanding their current businesses," she added.

But despite the good head-start, CAMPI will be maintaining its 4% growth outlook for 2010 in the meantime.

"We will revise accordingly but [only when] first quarter [figures are in] to see the trend," Ms. Lee said in a text message.

Industry leader Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. remained the top seller, accounting for nearly a third of total sales. The firm sold 3,871 vehicles, up 20.9%.

Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. enjoyed a 56.5% uptick to 2,411 units.

Third-placed Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. sold 1,319 units, down 11.9%.

1 comment:

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