Friday, 9 April 2010

Auto sales surge 35.5% in first quarter, CVs account for 41%

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/251748/auto-sales-surge-355-first-quarter-cvs-account-41

Auto sales grew 35.5 percent in the first quarter this year as sales hit 38,709 units versus 28,563 units in the same period last year on strong commercial vehicle sales, the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) reported.

CAMPI data showed that sales of commercial vehicles (CVs) account for the bulk of the sales as it grew a whooping 40.6 percent to 25,700 units as against 18,280 units sold in the first three months last year.

The CV sales continue to dominate with 66.4 percent market share backed by strong sales of Asian utility vehicles and light commercial vehicles.

The passenger car segment grew by 26.5% year to date selling a total of 13,009 units over 10,283 units in the same period last year for a market share of 33.6 percent.

"The strong first quarter result augurs well for the whole auto industry. We will have to revise our original forecast upwards given the first quarter trend. We are looking forward to continued strong sales in the coming months compared to the same period last year" said CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee.

CAMPI’s sales forecast for this year is 137,000 units from 132,000 units sold last year.

Among the CV categories, the light commercial vehicle (LCV) category posted the biggest increase of 48.9 percent as sales shoot up to 16,809 units from 11,292 units in the January-March period last year.

The LCVs account for the bulk of 65.4 percent share of the total vehicle market.

A total of 6,370 units of LCVs were sold in March alone or 21 percent higher than the February sales of 5,263 units. LCVs are comprised of pick up trucks, vans, and compact wagons.

This was followed by the Asian utility vehicles (AUV) with a remarkable 32.5 percent increase to 8,385 units from 6,329 units in the first quarter last year to corner 32.6 percent of the market.

A total of 3,141 AUV units or 19.1 percent increase than the February sales of 2,638 units.

Sales of trucks and buses also posted a modest 6.4 percent increase to 166 units from 156 units sold in the first quarter last year.

The only sore figure was that of the light trucks, which posted a significant 32.4 percent drop in sales to 340 units sold from 503 in the first quarter of 2009.

In terms of ranking, Toyota Motor Philippines still continued to lead the pack with 12,341 units or 26.3 percent more than 9,772 units in the first quarter of 2009.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. followed with 7,184 units or 47.8 percent more than the 4,860 units sold in the first quarter of 2009.

Running third was Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. with 4,572 units or 107.3 percent increase from 2,206 units in the same first quarter period last year.

"Stronger consumer confidence is partly reflected on strong vehicle sales—vehicles, being an asset and an integral part of the country’s growing group of entrepreneurs’ businesses,” Lee said.

Lee also noted that continued robust sales of dual purpose vehicles such as AUVs and LCVs reflect the majority of Filipino buyers’ penchant for value-for-money purchases.

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