2015 Industry Outlook ‘Tell me what you see’

column-full tank-al mendozaIT is not easy cornering the captains of the auto industry, and then firing at them the one question that we all wanted to ask but never had the time, if not the temerity, to do it: What’s the industry outlook for 2015?

But because the order came from The Boss herself (Ms. Tet Andolong, who else?), did I have a choice? By hook or by crook, I must get the job done though the heavens fall, so to speak. And so, one by one, I texted them, called them up. A few didn’t bother to text back, to reply, but that’s fine by me. If I do not matter to them, fine by me, too. Life has got to go on. One had politely declined because “I am low-key, have you forgotten?” Thank you, still. But to those who obliged and gracious enough to lend so much of their precious time and their brains, my deepest gratitude, indeed. They were almost unanimous in saying that 2015 will again be a banner year, with one boldly predicting the horrific state of the mass-transport system will all the more “feed the public’s desire” to own their own cars. Another said the 2016 election will push a car-buying frenzy. Still another said LCVs will rake it in this year. Anyway, here they all are—the so-called shakers and movers, revealing to us what’s in their much-coveted crystal balls for the industry in 2015.

Maricar Parco

BMW

2014 was a good year for BMW as we continued to be the leading luxury brand in the country for 12 years now. Although growth in the luxury segment is not as high as the rest of the auto industry, we remain optimistic in 2015 and look forward to a double-digit growth. BMW will also continue to expand its product range next year, hoping to get more Filipinos experience sheer driving pleasure. At least three new model introductions can be expected from BMW. So, here’s to an exciting and joyous 2015!

Michinobu Sugata

Toyota

THE increased domestic purchasing power and improved economic fundamentals have led the local automotive industry to expect a total of 300,000 sales for 2015. Motorization in the country continues to advance, that is why as the leading car brand, we have prepared the necessary supply both for locally produced and CBU models in order to meet the expected strong demand of vehicles.

Froi Dytianquin

Mitsubishi

WE expect the industry to sustain its growth and even expand rapidly with the good overall and stable Philippine economy that is complemented with opportunities for new car buyers, such as the expected introduction of new and upgraded models, better lending facility from banks and aggressive offers by all car brands to make new car purchases more affordable.

Steven Tan

Mazda Berjaya

THREE things. One, the Philippine economy has been growing at a tremendous pace, making it very imminent for an auto industry growth as well. Second, the strong dollar remittances from abroad will sustain a buying power that can boost demand for vehicles, especially so that new models are fast coming up again. And three, with growth in economy that keeps the government very politically stable, too, more jobs generated means the expanded influence of the fast-growing segment that is the middle class, whose capacity to spend more will boost the rapid advance of the industry.

Art Balmadrid

Isuzu Philippines Corp.

WE foresee a very positive outlook for the industry due to GDP growth, low financing rates and growing middle class. Aside from new cars and LCVs, there will also be a substantial sales increase of trucks due to stricter government regulations not only on second-hand vehicles but also on trucks that are more than 13 to 15 years old. Isuzu Philippines Corp. is projecting more than a 20-percent volume increase in 2015 sales versus the 2014 sales.

Albert Arcilla

Chevrolet

We expect the industry to continue its robust growth in 2015, with volume easily exceeding 300,000 units. With the improvement of the economic indicators and the availability of new models, we will see the growth of new segments and niches. We are expecting the CV segment to be a major driver again in 2015. Very prominent are the growth of the markets outside Metro Manila and the establishment of new auto hubs. For Chevrolet, we will continue to enhance the value proposition of our models, especially our mainstays in the CV category. Expect Chevrolet to be in the thick of the key volume segments with a wider line-up and more attractive offers and new dealerships opening in the regional auto hubs.

Mark Tieng

BYD

2015 will definitely be another recordbreaking year for the industry, projecting to break the 300,000 sales mark. It is definitely going to be a buyer’s market and brands will offer the best deals they can. BYD will continue to offer our relevant high-tech features, fuel-efficient vehicles and five-star service program to complete our promise to deliver the best customer experience for each BYD owner. It’s a promise that we are looking forward to fulfill to more and more BYD owners who are currently enjoying their ownership experience. Expect more exciting, game-changing ideas from us!

Arnel Doria

Volkswagen

BARRING any cataclysmic event, the auto industry will break the 300,000 mark in 2015 as forecasted by Campi. This will be fueled by the low interest rates on auto loans and continued economic growth, which is bringing the per capita income closer to the $3,000 level. It has been observed in other Asean economies that motorization is triggered when the per capita income crosses this level. Further, the continued unreliability of the mass-transport system will feed the buying public’s desireto own private vehicles.

Antonio Zara

Nissan

CAMPI made a bold prediction of motor vehicle sales reaching 300,000 this 2015. The probability is high given a newfound economic freedom for most Filipinos, backed by a per capita GDP nearing $3,000, and an increasing customer appetite. In September, the industry reached a peak of plus 41 percent year-on-year. The challenge for Nissan is to grow in parallel with the industry. We are aiming for an 8-percent market share for the next three years as we target to have a series of aggressive product launches for every quarter for 2015 and open additional 10 Nissan dealerships nationwide. With this, we are eyeing for over 40-percent growth in terms of sales for the next three years. We are also eyeing to contribute a 26-percent increase in our total industry volume share, and with the launch of Navara in February, we are very optimistic that we can achieve this.

Greg Yu

Cats Mercedes-Benz

I think the luxury segment will continue to grow this year. The Philippines has been one of the best performing economies in the world and the outlook for the country continues to be very positive for 2015. This should translate to higher sales for the luxury segment. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has a lot of new models that will definitely help our sales. The segment will continue to be very competitive, but we are ready.

Felix Ang

Cats Mercedes-Benz

OUR outlook for 2015 is bullish. The sustained growth of the GDP (per capita) is a strong indicator for sharp growth of motorization. New model introductions, as well as alternative models of purchase, like leasing, and low interest rate for financing will make it easier for customers to get into new cars. Competition will be tough and we will all have to earn our share of the industry pie this year.

Vince Licup

Chevy/Volvo

MY forecast is for us to hit an all-time high in vehicle sales. This is mainly because of the low interest rate and the support on approvals to customer loans by our banks. The next five years will be record-breaking years!

Dong Magsajo

Peugeot

WE at EDI (Eurobrands Distributor Inc.) look forward to launching a couple of new Peugeot models that we feel will fit well with the Filipino driving public’s needs and sensibilities. We look forward with great anticipation to launching these significant new models that will open doors to the European driving experience for more Filipinos.

Demosthenes “Bobby’ Rosales

Asian Carmakers Corp.

THE following augurs well for the industry: 1) Cheap fuel; 2) Confidence in the Philippine economy as investments are expected to increase; 3) Road-building projects to be completed and continue to be implemented; 4) Election atmosphere creates hope and encourages spending interest rates to remain affordable; 5) Banks awash with cash for lending; and, 6) Introduction of new models by car companies with technological improvements.

The negatives: 1) Mindanao peace remains to be seen; 2) If industry has to grow exponentially, Mindanao should be the place where industry can grow; 3) Modest growth of 10-15 percent for the industry expected but premium segment will continue to be haunted by lifestyle checks and who knows, this might continue to carry the burden of one-sided taxation policies; and, 4) Premium segment competition to tighten as more models are introduced.

The X Factor for industry growth will depend on how infrastructure can keep pace with volume levels. Here the discussion can be complicated. But that’s another issue. Oh, yes, a stable peso is a must to sustain the industry growth.

Fe Agudo

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.

THE industry performed extremely well in 2014, growing by about 28.69 percent from 2013. We expect around 20-percent growth for 2015. Hyundai maintained its third spot in 2013 with a market share of 11 percent.

The challenges: 1) Heightened rivalry spearheaded by the price war and new model introductions; 2) Changing customer tastes and preferences and valuefor-money needs. As per capita income increases, and with the free flow of car information in cyberspace, consumers are becoming increasingly smarter and more demanding as regards their purchases; and, 3) The entry of new Chinese and Indian automakers that are playing heavily on their advantages in terms of price and supply.

The opportunities: The yuppie market, young professionals aged 28 to 35 with monthly income of P45,000 and above, is expected to grow by 15 percent in the next five years. It is from this market that we foresee a boost in demand for entry-level vehicles belonging to the A and B segments.

Strong growth is seen in the passenger-car category on the back of an expanding middle class and enhanced purchasing power. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs), on the other hand, will most likely sustain their growth path, going by the trend of growing consumer demand for technology and product innovations. Mid-size SUVs will take the lead in the growth of the LCV segment, as sales are expected to hit 78,000 units by 2016. Following behind is the compact SUV segment, which is seen to increase by 56 percent in 2016.

May Alitagtag

Honda

BASED on Campi forecasts, we can achieve 300,000 vehicle sales in 2015. This will be a very good year for the Philippine auto industry as the market demand has continuously maintained its pace of sales increases the past several years.

Danny ‘Sir John’ Isla

Lexus

FOR 2015, we look forward with unflinching optimism on an overall industry growth in general and in the Lexus brand’s unstoppable forward thrust in particular. It may not be an easy task to again advance the Lexus way of a systematic, if not calculating, sales push, but we will courageously capitalize, as always, on our brand strength and the ever-positive and undiminishing passionate outlook of the Lexus team to reach greater heights. And, in our humble but committed cause to soar high once again, the Lexus team will always adhere to its mantra of chasing the time-tested tenets absolutely attached to the limitless Lexus targets in the pursuit of perfection. Coupled with our bold belief that good governance will surely spark economic growth and political stability that will redound to our people’s benefits, the Lexus team will continue and commit to strive to be a dedicated government partner for progress, development and socioeconomic prosperity this year and beyond. May Dear God be with us, here, there and everywhere….

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