Roll out of new models, more financing offers boosted Q1 car sales

VEHICLE sales in the first quarter expanded by 23 percent to 94,026 units, from 76,473 units recorded last year, according to data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

For the month of March alone, the combined sales reports of Campi and TMA showed that sales jumped by nearly 33 percent to 36,561 units, from 27,515 units posted in March 2016.

“The Philippine automotive industry has, thus far, continued to tread the path of motorization. While the first-quarter performance gives us reason to be optimistic, we are still cautious about our target for the year,” Campi President Rommel Gutierrez said in a statement.

Data from Campi and TMA showed that both the passenger-car and commercial-vehicle segments had robust sales. Gutierrez said this is due to new model introductions, aggressive marketing promotions and attractive financing offers.

Sales of passenger cars grew 7 percent to 31,951 units over 29,796 units sold for the first three months of 2017. Passenger-car sales in the month of March alone rose by 30 percent to 11,853 units, compared to February’s 9,114 units.

The passenger-car segment accounted for nearly 34 percent of vehicles sold in the January-to-March period, according to Campi data.

Sales of the commercial-vehicle category went up by 33 percent year-on-year, with 62,075 units sold in the first quarter, compared to 46,677 units sold in the same period last year. March sales grew by 38 percent to 24,708 units, from 17,926 units sold in February.

Top sales performers during the period were Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., with a 43-percent market share, followed by Mitsubishi Philippines Corp., 17 percent; Honda Cars Philippines Inc.,  7 percent; and Isuzu Philippines Corp., 6 percent.

On an annual basis, vehicle sales rose by 24.6 percent to 359,572 units last year. The increase was higher than the 10-percent growth target set by the auto industry for 2016.

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