Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Auto sales up 10.3% in Q1

By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio
The Philippine Star

The auto industry recorded a double-digit sales growth of 10.3 percent in the first three months of the year due to rising demand for commercial vehicles.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reported yesterday that auto sales went up by 10.3 percent to 28,904 units in the first three months of the year from a year ago level.

“There is still a relatively strong demand for vehicles as consumers continue to buy cars albeit with much more discretion as higher food and fuel prices come into play in the purchase decision. There is a continued preference for vehicles that double for personal and business use, reflecting the importance of value for money,” CAMPI president Elizabeth H. Lee said in a statement.

“Buyers are also smarter nowadays, choosing to purchase brand new cars that yield a longer lifespan, making their investments last,” Lee added.

During the review period, sales of commercial vehicle accounted for 64.8 percent of total while passenger cars accounted for the remaining 35.2 percent.

Sales of pickups, vans, and Asian utility vehicles (AUV) are rising at a faster rate, validating the market’s need for utility vehicles.

Total industry sales for March alone went up by 12.2 percent to 10,624 units.

Passenger car registered a 3,744 sales while commercial vehicles recorded sales of 6,880 units in March.

As in the other months, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. captured the biggest share of total auto sales with a 36.9 percent share.

Honda Cars Philippines Inc. was a far second with 12.9 percent while Mitsubishi Motors Philippines was third with a 12.3 percent market share.

Sales of passenger cars went up by 19.9 percent in March.

Lee attributed the growth to promotional activities of the dealers and the sales of new models introduced last year.

Meanwhile, commercial vehicle sales for March increased by 8.4 percent, a good start for the largest category in the market.

“We forecast sales to continue to be strong in the coming months. Strong sales of pickup trucks, vans, and C-wagon vehicles sustain the momentum of this segment,” said.

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